My Brother

You probably don't know my brother recently lost his job working at a nameless lighting shop in town. In my opinion he got stooged pretty badly while he was there... anyway I digress. He's picked up a new job working at Ken's Self Cycles in town. I'm pretty pleased and proud of him.

Uni stairs... Me

As close to a graduation photo of Dave as you'll get...

Mountain bike number 3

Mountian bike number 2

Mountain bike number 1

This new job will be great with mountain biking always been a Jolly passion. To be fair Dave was the first really start riding but I was the one to start racing. I raced for a bit in the Tasmanian State Series and usually didn't to to badly. I eventually gave it away due to getting older, less time, bigger priorities, expense, injury the list goes on. Now I occasionally roll the legs over every now and again. Dave's on the other hand has kept up with it over the years which bides well for his new job. He starts this Monday. Pop in and say g'day.


Home sweet home...

It's strange I'm not really sure where home is anymore. Having just got back from our trip on the mainland Christine and I cruised off to Tasmanian Leadership Convention (TLC) for four days. I went to TLC last year and met some fantastic people. Having just got back I was feeling pretty tired going in. We had a couple of duders from Sydney speak to us. Con Campbell covered all of Ephesians and Kamal spoke on Deuteronomy.

(Kamal and Con discuss the finer points of preaching)

(Con Campbell - Greek ninja and saxophonist)

(Not sure what I'm doing here)

(The G-Train tells is like it is... that's Mr Train to you)

I ran a strand group looking at Ephesians 4:17-32. While it seemed to go well, I was as always racked with a lack of self belief. Sometimes it felt like I was making people more confused than actually helping. Having said that I really enjoyed being able to really hack into a particular Bible passage.

...anyway back to the topic of home... Christine and I will be moving out our home sometime before the end of the week up to Jane Franklin Hall. I've got a Resident Fellow position there (this is an addition to my MTS university work).

In other news I'm currently working on a new temporary website for FOCUS (see here), preparing information for the FOCUS Committee, and planning our new look Wednesday meeting, AND celebrating the 300th post on this blog (471 altogether). Busy times.


YMAC Holiday Bible Club*

As I mentioned below I've doing this mission to aboriginal kids for as long as I've been a Christian. The mission is held in Yamba and Maclean two small country towns on the New South Wales coast about an eight hour drive north of Sydney. Kids attending Holiday Bible Club (HBC) are all aboriginal and come from the local nearby communities. The leaders on team are drawn from a number of churches around Sydney.

While our whole team is accommodated in Maclean (at the show grounds) half of us travel to Yamba to an aboriginal community there each day. I again led the Yamba team. There were about 30 of us (another 30 running Maclean). We hold the mission in a huge stadium/hall in the community and the kids wander in from the surrounding homes. The kids attending ranged from toddlers to adults. The focus was as always on teaching the children the gospel. This was done using songs, plays skits, interactive crafts and games.

How was this year you ask? It was a tough year for myself and Christine with many frustrations. Some of these were more serious than others. Very sadly I may not be back on the team next year due to problems on team that I feel must be addressed.

Most encouragingly I met a new Christian aboriginal bloke called Nick. He lives in the area but for one reason or another hasn't been to the mission the last few years. He has an infectious enthusiasm and real love for God and Bible. I and some of the other men on team spent time praying and reading together which was great. I also briefly caught up with Chris another aboriginal Christian who I've regularly written to for the last 7 or 8 years. He is also going well and still attending a local church (although it's not a good one).

Please keep the Mission and work we did in explaining the gospel to the kids in your prayers. Please also keep Christine and I in your prayers as we think about our future in this ministry.

*Oh I chucked in some pictures from last year... to make this post a little less boring


No Photos from mission

From Email

Just a note to ask that any Photo's of Kids etc from Holiday Bible Club not be used on FaceBook or MySpace or any other public web site. We don't have permission to have the kids Photo's loaded on such sites and are a little concerned about Privacy implications.
I myself actually didn't take a single photo the whole trip of the kids or the team. Somehow after nearly ten years doing this mission I don't really see the point. Once I get some of the team sent to me I'll post them.


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It's that time of the year again

I've been making a yearly pilgrimage to New South Wales to work with Aboriginal kids for a long time now. In fact so long that I've lost count of the number of times I've been there.

The mission is held in Yamba/Maclean (on the NSW coast about 8 hours north of Sydney) hence the abbreviation YMAC. This year will be Christine's second YMAC. This year I've written a series of very simple Bible studies on the first few chapters of Romans to do with the teenage aboriginal kids. Christine has been most helpful recently as we've been seeking how to implement the studies. I have high hopes and expectations for this year.

Follwing that we return to Tassie and then head off to Tasmania Leadership Convention. Following that comes the big move to Jane and associated camp. It's going to be a very busy time especially given that we'll be also planning the year for FOCUS with the Committee and our new staff member Luke Hansard.

As always keep us in your prayers and all the people and kids we'll be working with as we head off into a very busy time. To God be the glory.


Where we live...

See here... It's not quite... but they are selling the place upstairs from us for "in the range of $350,000".

Don't think that I'd be pumped for paying that much for a place that doesn't even have a lift in it.


Justification by belonging...

When the experience of belonging to a church or small group becomes the defining experience of your Christian life you're in danger of marginalizing Jesus death and resurrection.

This is a danger particularly for loving, caring and welcoming churches. Friendship and fellowship in God's community of saved people is a wonderful and comforting thing. But this should be the result of justification. If you emphasize belonging to the community as the primary reality of your Christian life, your justification isn't a done deal anymore; it has become caught up with whether you're connected to the community, whether you've been accepted by others and whether you're displaying the right signs of membership. These things are fleeting and ephemeral compared to the solid reality of Jesus Christ full and perfect sacrifice which secures our justification before God.

(taken from a Christian magazine I read)


The Berean Spirit

Acts 17:11
Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
I want the men and women at FOCUS in 2008 to have eagerness about the Bible and a healthy degree of skepticism.