The FOCUS events just keep coming...
This afternoon a bunch of us went to give blood at the Red Cross. Now I was very nervous partly because last time I was there my now ex girlfriend almost fainted. So I very apprehensively joined a few of the FOCUS girls* to give blood.

It wasn't too bad although the needle hurt when they pulled it out. I now feel really tough... like the real man that I am (it's ok I tagged this as shameless self promotion).

Today was also the first FOCUS prayer evening. We had about nine people in total not a great showing but we had a pretty cool vibe. We spent a good time praying for FOCUS the Uni and the work of other groups like FOCUS around Oz.

Thanks to Tim again who ran and organised the evening. Next semester I reckon we're going to have a blood giving evening especially for the wussy guys.

*Where were wussy blokes?


Re: Porn

Dear Mike
I read your letter and was particularly encouraged by your desire to combat the growing problem of pornography.

What happened with me is that my dad never had any input into that side of my development, and my mum didnt' really either. I wasn't really ever close enough to share stuff with an older guy as I moved through my teenage years and so my struggles were mine and mine alone. There were people occasionally who I shared things with when my conscience was too burdened to keep it to myself any longer, but none of these really ever followed me up.

I think it's of utmost importance that when it comes to sex and all the temptation in our society that we do our best to cultivate a culture where we can talk openly, respectfully (no matter how bad the mistakes) and caringly and even make light of it to bring it down a few notches on the serious scale. I think generally the enemy wants us to be embarrassed about our sexual nature so that it's the last thing we really deal properly with in our lives, but in reality it's just another part of what God said was so "very good"!

One of the things that I have learnt is that it is absolutely essential for young guys (i don't know what it's like for girls) to have their dad teaching them how to deal with sexual temptation, and if not their dad, then someone older who's able to get to know them well enough to really be of help.


Nintendo on Caffeine...

We had our much planned social night for FOCUS down at Bay West Hall last night.

Chloe from Oomph kindly donated some beans for us to use. Caleb, Matt and my brother kindly bought their coffee machines, grinders and more gear than you can poke a stick at down to the Baywest Hall.

We had a couple of Nintendo Wii game consoles and a food challenge (thanks Tim) that provided the entertainment.

I was pretty happy with the turn out all things considered. Thanks to Matt, Caleb, Dave, the guys at Oomph, Renae for doing most of the organising and Alex and Jono for the Wii's.


David Rhodes Scam*

I got this letter in the mail. It had no return address on the back.

Hmmm that’s strange thought as I opened it

"Hi I’m David Rhodes…"
What a nice friendly bloke. He went on to claim I could get $70,000 just by sending $10 to one person and mailing out 200 more letters.
“After you have sent $10 in the post to a complete stranger something eerie happens. It gives you an indescribable overwhelming sense of certainty, belief and conviction in this system.”

Said the letter. "Wow" I thought "I want to feel good!"

And they even give a formula so you can see it really works…

So I googled my new friend David Rhodes…. (click here) Ouch!
Then googled report scam (click here)
Rang up the hotline (1300 654 499)

They asked me to post the letter to them for their records

Happy to oblige. Then I emailed the only email address in the letter. I’m still waiting to hear back. I'm sorry David Rhodes but you get the "stupid award" for this one.

*Scams are highly illegal in Australia (see here)


Happiness is... pretty fickle

I combined my two favorite sports tonight. Now it's been a while since I last played mixed netball (two years infact) but I dusted of my runners for a game with some Uni/FOCUS/Christian mates. The other sport was Mountain Biking. Tonight I only rode to the stadium and back but I've been riding once a week for last few weeks trying to get my fitness back.

Now my profile states that I broke two ribs once playing netball... however I will point out that this was by no means a career ending injury for me. In fact that year we went on to win our Division. You little ripper! (See below)

So how did we go? We lost by two goals. I was mostly happy with my game except for the clumsy turnovers. Most importantly of all playing again left me feeling happy, very happy.


Tricky bits... Colossians 1:24

This will be the beginning of a new series on my blog. I'll be looking at tricky verses and parts of the Bible. Here is the verse concerned

Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. (Colossians 1:24)
Context of Colossians 1 ESV or NIV
All contributors are welcome. My thoughts so far...
  1. Paul suffers on behalf of the Colossian church.
  2. This is part of Christ's afflictions in that the suffering of his people continues (Christ's death, redemption and sufferings are complete).
  3. Before Christ returns he suffers in the members of his body
  4. This suffering is limited (and will be complete when he returns).
  5. Paul contributes to this so the Colossians don't have to.


Still more blogs...

The blogging bug continues to wander across the Crossroads scene. These are just a couple of recent additions to my blogger sidebar. Cruise on over and have a look.

Tim - is an old flatmate of mine and generally a pretty random funny dude. He's been a great friend over the years.

Pryderi - A very funny dude. Somewhat famous for the "hit and miss" comment when describing Americans in our engagement video.

In other news I'm approaching my 1 year blogging anniversary. Stay tunned for reflections and stuff dug from the archives including me flirting with Christine.



I interviewed a couple of the FOCUS fellas for the forthcoming AFES newsletter. Here's a sneak peak.

Yourself in three words?
Volleyball, Christian, laid back

What’s the best thing about FOCUS?
Meeting with Christians on campus. It’s encouraging to see to be around and see people who have the same beliefs as you.

What’s different about Uni compared to school?
Challenging and difficult. It’s a busier time at Uni with more work than I had at school.

Being a Christian is…
The only way. The way of life to glorify God further his Kingdom. The only way to be truly happy. It’s exciting to see other people alive in Christ and loving life living for him.

Being a Christian at Uni is…
A struggle at times. It’s hard to make close relationships with non Christians there when they have different morals to you. You can sometimes feel uncomfortable in a big group of them.

Something to pray for FOCUS is…
The growth of FOCUS on the campus. For God to provide for the needs in funding FOCUS. For students to make time to get along to FOCUS.


supportMIKE news

Dear Brothers and Sisters

I've had a most restful Easter. It was great to take some time off and recover from a stack of one-to-one work and preaching during the last month.

As I mentioned last time, I preached at another school camp. This wasn't as straightforward as the earlier one, however I worked hard and felt that the majority of the students understood the message. I realised how important it is that people you are preaching to have Bibles to look at for themselves. This would have really helped the kids to concentrate.

FOCUS continues to cruise along. At the moment I’m working helping the students to organise events for themselves. I'm a big fan of this as it encourages students to have ownership of FOCUS. We're hoping to run a car wash fundraiser late in the month.

Sam has been preaching faithfully through 1 Corinthians. I have particularly been challenged to have a servant heart like Jesus did in laying down his life for others' salvation (1 Cor 10:33ff). I've also been doing a lot of thinking and research about the Emerging Church, and the problem of pornography among Christian blokes and how to talk to school-age guys about it.

We're also hoping to run a big social night for all the Christians at FOCUS in the next couple of weeks. I've also been running a number of movie nights at my house. These have helped FOCUS students from different churches to hang out and fellowship together.

I'm meeting with a number of the blokes from FOCUS on a regular basis. Some I have been meeting with weekly, others I've been seeing more informally every now and again. I've been reading the Bible with some and praying with others and reading articles with others. It keeps me pretty busy.

Next month I'll be preaching at FOCUS, Crossroads and Richmond Congregational Church. Your thoughts and prayers for this would be appreciated.

Some things to give thanks for are that I'm approximately three quarters of the way to the goal of $20,000 for my wage this year. Also give thanks that the year has gone well so far and I'm feeling confident in the run down to the end of semester. My preparation for getting married in June continues to progress smoothly. Please pray that this will continue.

Again please contact me if you have any advice, thoughts, comments or questions.

Thanks once again for you prayers and support
Cheers in Christ

Mike Jolly


Confessions... star stuck... Targa

I have to own up to something tonight... I enjoy motorsport... I know please try not to fall asleep.

Jonny and I spent this evening watching Targa. We took his nephew Brandon along to catch the night stage under lights at the DEC. I reckon there were over five thousand people out there.

After dropping Brandon home, Jonny and I pushed on down to Wrest Point to get a closer look at the cars. Usually there are stacks of people and you can't get close at all... but this evening there were hardly any people round. The atmosphere was much more friendly (lacking in bogans). Jonny and I chatted with mechanics and drivers as well as getting a very good look.

We also saw... but I didn't want to get too close.

He's in the center of frame... still no ideas?

(Click the picture for a bigger view)
Still no idea?... this guy

Jim Richards and Barry Oliver have won this race 8 times. This is their brand new (Less than a 1000kms) $300, 000 Porsche GT3

This little puppy is another rare beast

A brand new $500, 000 Austin Martin Vantage... I know think of all those people you could feed in Africa.

(pictures updated)


Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics

We got some feedback from the Gameshow camp as run for Calvin grade 8. The results were pretty much what I would have expected. It was interesting that feedback was even taken. Evidently times are a changin' at Calvin.

Mike's talks made think...
68% Agreed
17% Disagreed
Neutral the rest

Interesting some comments included

  • "Talks to serious for non-Christians".
  • Five people thought the talks were the worst thing about camp.
  • "I thought it sucked" presumably talking about the whole camp.
  • "The things Mike said about relationships are right."


Think before you post...


Late night Huw

It was a busy day... very busy. I worked solidly through from 9 till 9 tonight then went to wind down with cold beer and some original music at the Telegraph Hotel.

I went initially see my mate Mackles playing. I'd describe his music as a mix between Placebo and Enola Fall. Surprisingly I bumped into Huw... doing a solo performing at the same gig. Huw is very secretive as you can see from the photo.

It was a very secret appearance apparently even some of his family were banned from attending I'm not sure why... Anyway I like Huw's music*.

I feel relaxed. Yay for original music and Boag's Draught.

*(even if it is all about his wife Emma)


Mark Driscoll

Recent discussion here and here and got me again listening to Mark Driscoll. This afternoon I had a listen to a talk he delivered as part of the Desiring God Conference (with big guns including Don Carson, John Piper, Tim Keller and others). I was also particularly interested in how he presents Jesus as a "bloke".

Anyway here's the link and below I have pasted my notes.

Supremacy of Christ in the Post Modern World
1. We must contending for the exultation of Christ (Jude 3)

  • Scripture
  • Sovereignty of God (vs open theism)
  • Virgin Birth
  • Sinful Humanity Plagianism (vs corporate sin)
  • Penal Substitutionary Atonement (it’s the hinge)
  • Exclusivity of Christ
  • Male and female gender roles
  • Literal Hell (inc literal heaven)
  • Kingdom priority over Culture (Over vs under realized Eschatology the Corinthians vs Thessalonians)
2. We must Contextualize
  • Timeless truth
  • Timely ministry
In contextualizing there are;
  • Things you reject
  • Things we can receive (and adapt) eg. Technology
  • Thing you can redeem



As a bloke I’m called to be and live like Jesus.

Here’s the problem, often Jesus is perceived as some kind of hippie Jesus with the long flowing locks and a nice beard who said lots of nice things and talked about his feelings. Often when we teach and preach about Jesus we do so in a way that makes him seem effeminate or at least not particularly blokey. Jesus didn’t play footy, he didn’t watch the cricket he wasn’t like James Bond and he didn’t watch 300 or even ultimate fighting.

Now obviously this is a stereotype but this brought me to a question. What does it mean as a blokey bloke to have Jesus as an example? Does it simply mean I need to be less blokey? Or is Jesus really a blokey bloke… and I just can’t see it yet?


Seen round Hobart

I blogged a while ago about being culturally engaged... walking round with your eyes open is important. Here are some of the things I've noticed round town. Click the pic for a larger view if you can't read the billboard.


How to be a church MC

  • Your attitude – and approach set the tone for the meeting so make sure you aren’t flippant or silly. Running a meeting is a serious task. You should have prayed privately during the week and thought carefully about what to say.
  • Speak loudly and clearly (not into a book or your chest). People at the back must be able to hear you clearly. Don’t speak to fast (easy to do if you are nervous). Get someone to help/check you are speaking at a correct volume before the meeting.
  • Be prepared – If you are praying and reading the Bible make sure you have practiced it before hand. Don’t rock up and make up what to say on the spot. Arrive early and make sure you know what’s going on. Ask for any notices you need to read
  • When reading the Bible - Have an idea of how the passage should be read. There are natural highs and lows in it make sure you pick them up.
  • When praying – Write out what you are going to pray for, or at least have a list. This saves rambling or worse still using the same old clich├ęs. Especially look to pray about things that might have been brought out by the passage being preached on.
  • Having an angle – When introducing a meeting it’s often worth thinking of an angle or direction you want people to think. For example if the passage was about servanthood you could begin with a short blab or perhaps even a question about being a servant. You could then pray about serving… then the sermon would follow on servanthood. Note this strategy is best done in consultation with the preacher.
Anything else?

**New updated post here** Due to the amount of traffic coming here.


Easter is...

God the creator of the world sending his son Jesus into his world. This Jesus who lived and walked as one of us, was taken and executed on a cross. Not for anything he did wrong, but so that people like you and me who have rebelled against God can be friends with him (it's not like any of us have always obeyed him). But that wasn't all, he rose from death showing that death, judgment and hell had been defeated and now he offers new life to those who trust in him.

This is what shapes my entire life and existance. I pray Easter can mean this much to you as well.



Dave and Sherrin congratulations to you both. It was a most enjoyable afternoon. I wish you guys all the very best.


Happy Easter... march of the Penguins

Happy Easter to everyone out there.
Thankyou to all my readers for their continued support and for commenting on my blog. For God's glory

Now enjoy this video a nice short one too...

(Cheers to Seumas for the link)


Star struck

So at Benny's prompting I will make a brief note to say that I was in the same house as Brian Ritchie from the Violent Femmes and Kim Deal from the Pixies yesterday . I can't say where this particular house is/was. It's all a bit secret.

If those names mean little to you then perhaps check the links on wikipedia and see why people might get jealous. The whole experience was a little lost on me. While realising who the Pixies and Violet Femmes are (even knowing some of their "quite good" music) I'm not what you call a fan.

My friend Benny was a bit jealous and described them like this.

It's like sitting on a bus with Paul McCartney except much cooler. Kim Deal is cool. Think of your favourite band of all time. Now, multiply that by ten. Then think of the coolest person in that band and multiply that by ten and you've got Kim Deal.


Culturally Engaged

An interesting little discussion has been happening over on Christine’s blog (here and here) about how to engage with the culture in a meaningful way in order to bring the gospel to people. Here are some of my thoughts.

More often than not it seems Christians swing between either compromising the gospel and becoming man pleaser's or on the other hand demanding that people; use the same music, dress the same (shirts and ties of course), and have the same attitude to alcohol.

It’s important to the get the balance right between engaging with our culture while not compromising the gospel. On the one hand the gospel is always culturally relevant (we don’t need to make it relevant to culture). Our presentation of the gospel however needs to take into account the culture we try to reach (just as Paul did in Athens).

While I affirm the gospel smells like the stench of death to some, we can’t use this as an excuse for sloppy evangelism and poorly thought through evangelistic technique. We must be careful in the way we seek to engage people in our culture with the gospel. Too often in my own experience I know I have spoken in a way that has been unhelpful and insensitive.


7 blogging virtues

As sent to me by jml

  • Be grateful
  • Be humble
  • Be patient
  • Be generous
  • Show respect
  • Be motivating
  • Be brave

more detail (see here)


Fastest Train... record

Here is some footage of the fastest train record that was achieved today... complete with French commentary. It's worth watching just hear an excited Frenchman.


Porn.. again

It was timely that I happened to come across this article in the Sunday Tasmanian over the weekend. Bettina Arndt says,

"It makes no sense for women to brand their menfolk as depraved for enjoying this latest form of sexual display... just because we don’t get it doesn’t mean we have to shame healthy, red-blooded men for enjoying peep shows."

I disagree strongly. I think that porn is a problem and a big one. I know of at least one mate for whom this addiction nearly wreaked his marriage. The article also acknowledged... "Most of the women — about two-thirds — were shocked, insulted, angry and unhappy when their men turned to the internet for pornography."
I'm interested in stories from readers. Anonymous comments welcome.