Hold your horses!

If you are hankering for bad fashion #1 please be patient as I gather evidence.

Number #5 White Socks with Black Shoes
Number #4 The Mobile Phone on Belt
Number #3 The Tucked in Shirt
Number #2 That Top button


Tell me what's your flavor?

Does anyone actually read the Crossroads weekly email? I've been responsible for this since I took over doing the secretary's job and Amber got sick. Perhaps I just need encouragement. Anyway here's this weeks work of creative genius.

Welcome again to the Crossroads weekly digest
What's your flavour?
  • Crossroads House moves location this week to the beutiful Kettering and will be hosted by Steve Brinkoff at 56 Ferry St, Kettering. Jake will be be continuing our series in 1 Peter.
  • Crossroads Mother Ship continues this Sunday at the Phillip Smith Centre. Dan will be preaching from 1 Thessalonians.
  • Toilet Block Tuesdays, Mikey is in the office complaining about having to preach John chapter 11, so who knows what he'll end up doing.
Something Extra?
  • A reminder to people to fill out their "Breaking the Silence Forms" and return them asap to Mikey.
  • Pryderi's small group continues Tomorrow @ 7:30pm following the preaching series.
  • Drop on over and visit Mikey's blog (I reckon it's pretty good).
  • Think you too can be a Crossroads Office Ninja? We want your skills and talent as Crossroads Secretary. If you can help us with this (even a day a week) send an email to info@crossroadshobart.org.
Finally a short update on the Ethics studies from last week. While we didn't have any takers we're planing to relaunch with more energy and vtiality early next semester so stay tunned.


supportMIKE News VII

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

It’s been a while since I last pumped out one of my supporter newsletters. In honesty I’ve been finding it more difficult to write things this year as I’ve been a little less motivated and have not been feeling my usual enthusiastic self.

The year has not felt really busy but in reality it has been. I’ve been spending large amounts of time in the church office acting as Crossroads secretary two days a week and also organising most of the administration for the MTS Challenge Conference later in the year. This has been a growing experience and given me a new appreciation for people who work in administration.

Mikey has been assuring me that all this work is worthwhile. Deep down I know that it’s good for me to get some experience doing this sort of stuff but it still can be trying. Doing things you don’t enjoy is great for growing me and helping me to learn patience and perseverance. Work can’t always be fun with carnivals and explosions. In some ways it feels like I’m beginning my apprenticeship all over again.

Christine has been a great encouragement to me during my transition to Crossroads, a wonderful partner, listening ear, and patient friend. Over the past three months she has been leading a women’s small group at church. This has been most successful at encouraging the women at church to continue to look out for each other especially the mothers. Aside from the small group Christine has also been working on her last few semesters of theological studies. She continues to do very well and I’m very proud of her. In a couple of weeks she’ll be speaking on grace at Women’s Winter Festival.

I’ve been working hard at getting to know the beast that is Crossroads Church. There’s a lot of things to take in and try to understand. To do this well it often feels like I have to learn to live inside Mikey’s “getting things done” mind. Working with Mikey has also given me an understanding of just how much stuff he actually does and how much energy it requires. It’s been really encouraging.

Our Crossroads Tuesday Night meeting (affectionately known as Toilet Block Tuesdays. Become a fan on Facebook!) continues to go strongly. We have a good mix of people coming along. A couple of weeks ago I preached at our meeting which I really enjoyed despite not having prepared as well as I would have liked. Sunday Morning Crossroads (affectionately known as Crossroads House) has also been a source of encouragement. It’s great to see our families melding together into a cohesive unit, forming a good house church vibe.

In spite of not actively searching out blokes to meet up with, I ended up meeting up with some anyway. Clearly this is part of my ministry that I’m naturally drawn to and God continues to use me in. I’ve been deeply encouraged to see the gents and ladies at FOCUS continue on with the vision that we worked so hard together on last year. A few of the blokes have kept in contact and have served to help keep me keen and motivated for ministry.

My work at Jane continues to yield great evangelistic opportunities. Jane has taken up more time than I probably realised it would. However I have had many opportunities to discuss and chat with many students matters of belief and faith. Working in an environment like this has been great to keep my mind, wit and thinking young and sharp.

Also if you’d like to support me further please feel free donate (Crossroads Presbyterian Church BSB: 067 100, Account number: 10209867). Alternatively you can always get in contact with me (see below).

Please keep Christine and I in your prayers

Cheers and God bless

*NOTE* All pictures brought to you by the new Jane Franklin Hall driveway project.


Below tree level you will find

...Benny* and Leigh's book

Look closer...


Benny is my very good friend. He's stuck with me through thick and thin as well as some of the darkest times of my life. He taught me heaps about being a Christian and ministry. I'm happy to plug his book here. I owe him very much. Benny gets my award for Christians who I truly respect.

*If you pop into Fullers to grab a copy Benny might even sign it for you.


Behind the flannel curtain...

...and back again.


Sex and all that

Sexual temptation is the downfall of many a good man (and woman). One of my mates posted a up a link to John Piper who posted 26 tips on how to fight sexual sin. They look pretty good. Check em out here. Here's the first 5 to get you interested;

  1. Recognize that sexuality is a good gift from God.
  2. Recognize that Biblical prohibitions are intended to protect something precious not deny something pleasant.
  3. Believe God is for you.
  4. Ponder the eternal danger of lust.
  5. Think often that God has given you even now many good things.


I bought a car

9 things you should know about it;

  1. Like my wife I found it on the internet.
  2. It's my dream car...
  3. ....a 1992 Toyota Corolla SX
  4. It's currently in Sydney.
  5. I'll probably sell my Camry at some stage.
  6. If you'd like to drive it down for me and visit beautiful Tasmania...
  7. ...I could negotiate something...
  8. ...So that you weren't out of pocket.
  9. This list is getting a little tiresome.


Charismatic with a seat belt

I read this very interesting article in Christianity Today.

Reformed folk, particularly in the Dutch tradition of Kuyper and Dooyeweerd, often emphasize the "goodness of creation"— that God created a material universe that he pronounced "very good" (Gen. 1:31). And although it is fallen, God is redeeming this world, not redeeming us out of it. An important piece of that affirmation is the goodness of embodiment—the goodness of the stuff we bump into, the bodies we inhabit.

But that's precisely why I've always found it a bit strange that Reformed worship so often treats human beings as if we're brains-on-a-stick. All week long we talk about how good creation is, how good embodiment is. But then we have habits of worship that merely deposit great ideas in our heads, making us rather cerebral disciples. Despite all our talk about the goodness of creation and embodiment, in Reformed worship the body doesn't show up that much.

It's longish but worth a read. Check it here.

ht to Chris


Bad Fashion #2

We're still counting down bad fashions...
Number #5 White Socks with Black Shoes
Number #4 The Mobile Phone on Belt
Number #3 The Tucked in Shirt
but now to todays fashion faux pas... drum roll please


in shirt form

in polo form

Like the others this fashion looks incredibly bad. The first picture shows a shirt with the top button. This is an understandable mistake. The shirt is a formal item of clothing however without the tie the whole look is let down.

The second picture shows the polo top button done up. This is far worse crime as the polo is by it's nature a less formal article of clothing. In other words it lends itself naturally to having a open collar. To button up the top button is as bad as wearing a tux to play footy in.

Check this next picture out (shamelessly stolen from here)

I feel sorry for children who have this fashion thrust upon them by naive parents who then wonder why their children are bashed for being nerdy. I've also noticed this impressed on many home schooled children.

In the picture above the kid on the right is clearly more likely to get bashed as his top button is done up. The kid on the left wont*. It's that straight forward.

If the shirt doesn't have a tie then the top button should always be undone.

*Actually he probably will for having such a dumbass belt.


Winning the battle*

I've been talking about pornography over the last few months. Here's a distilled list of things to help you/me/us win the battle.

Things that just don’t help…

  • My hunch is that people are more susceptible to temptation of porn because of the extra pressure and stress. This is especially try of the person in ministry.
  • Sadness and depression.
  • Being disorganized more generally which in turn leads to late nights.
  • Lack of accountability
  • Lack of stuff to do not keeping busy with things to do. This leads to aimless internet late night wanderings. Perhaps this is more prevalent in the holidays.
  • Aspects of our culture seek to teach us that looking at porn is ok.
Things that do help
  • Accountability and talking to someone about the problem.
  • Talking and being proactive about keeping others accountable (of the same sex).
  • Acknowledging and praying about the problem.
  • Regular exercise.
  • Being organized so as not to find yourself in tempting situations.
  • Being careful not to put yourself in situations where you will be tempted.
  • Computer monitoring software
  • Cutting off your internet altogether.
  • Cold showers (suggested by a MTS apprentice mate)
Finally I'm not sure that the battle can be truly won in this life. In other words it aint over till it's over. I'm open to other suggestions. Feel free to comment anonymously.

*I’m indebted to Mark Barry for some of this advice


She here...

Christine's friend Laura has moved* to Tasmania...

*I'm using a very generous definition here...very.


Toilet Block Tuesdays... will you be my friend?

About eight months ago we started a new church meeting specifically aimed at University students. It began on a Monday night but them moved to a Tuesday night at the start of this year. It was edgy, cool, laid back in vibe, sermons not Bible study, engagement with culture, worldview and critics. It was lumber jackets and hoodies (no shirts), minimalistic and evangelistic. As the name evolved from Monday night Crossroads to Tuesday night Crossroads the peeps in the loop have begun to refer to it as Toilet Block Tuesdays.

Earlier this year Toilet Block Tuesdays resisted the urge to join childish stampede of self promotion on such trashy sites such as myspace (it wouldn't have fitted in wearing a lumber jacket and hoodie) rather it has instead waited for the dust and hype to settle before launching a persona on facebook.

Head on over and over and become a fan. If you're not from around here but like what you see or just reckon it's damn good idea jump on board. Oh and if you haven't visited Toilet Block Tuesdays pull on your hoodie and lumber jacket and come and join us some time. Toilet Block Tuesdays takes place on Tuesday nights at the South Hobart Community Center from 7:30pm.


Pick-a-mix Jesus

I was flicking through one of the magazines that Jane subscribes to called New Internationalist. I was drawn to their special feature “Was Jesus Christ a revolutionary?”.

But here’s a quote

Indeed, why he was crucified is something of a mystery. It was certainly not because he claimed to be the son of God. Jesus makes no such claim in the gospels except once in the Markian trial scene… and Mark had his own axe to grind.
It’s frustrating that magazines peddle this drivel. Jesus again and again claims in various ways (admittedly some more obvious than others) that he is God, from God and sent by the Father. (John 8 is a good example).

The whole article reads more like a pick-a-mix Jesus, where the writer cherry picks stories to suit his agenda. Parts about Jesus being God, miracles, people rising from the dead, are dismissed or left out (they must have been added in later on by those naughty disciples or that bad “St Paul”). I find this kind of mistake even more disappointing given that the writer is a Professor. I don't imagine this will be the last time I read this silly stuff.

Was Jesus a revolutionary, dunno but I do know he claimed to be God.


Kiddies get in on the act...

An interesting if brief article on the growing negative effect of pornography on sexual behavior in young Children.

...the proliferation of internet pornography, as well as child sex abuse, is turning very young people into perpetrators.
This story is from my home town. See the full details here.


I hate divorce and God does too

I found out the other day that one of my old mates was getting divorced. I must admit when I hear about this it really makes me sad, angry all at once. I’m sad because I care very much for my friends. I’m angry because I’m an emotional person and things like divorce should move your emotions. To make matters worse the couple concerned were supposed to be Christian. My current count of Christian friends who have divorced now stands at four. This is especially saddening in my generation where marriage is increasingly rare and Christians really have an opportunity to stand out a mile when it comes to our relationships.

I’ve been in a difficult relationship before and know what it’s like to both suffer as well as be the cause of someone else’s suffering in the context of a longer-term relationship. In this relationship I stuck it out even though things were really emotionally, psychologically and physically difficult. All my friends told me that I was stupid and I should just break up with the girl concerned.

I didn’t for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I really loved and cared about the girl (in some ways I still do). Secondly I really strongly believe that God by his spirit could change not just me but my other half too, just as he changes and transforms his church. Thirdly even though I wasn’t married to this particular person (we were engaged) I realized that it’s important that Christian (marriage) relationships and our relationship echo the relationship between Christ and his church one of permanent self-sacrifice. I was massively conscious of my own shortcomings as well as my lack of ability to lay down my life practically for my other half. I really sucked at being the Godly man I knew I needed to be. However I’m proud to say that by God’s grace I never stopped working on myself and our relationship.

So for me divorce has always been a very simple issue. You don’t get any clearer than Jesus words in Matthew 19.

Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" "Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." "Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?" Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."
A few years back I raised this with one of my other Christian friends who was going through a painful divorce (with another “christian") and was shocked when they told me the advice of their church elders was to “get divorced” because “God wouldn’t want to you to be unhappy” [in staying married to this person]. This response made me very sad. Obedience to God’s truth and commands always stands over and above my personal happiness.

I’m not arguing for unhappy marriages. I’ve always known that for me if I’m not prepared to love my wife unconditionally like Christ did for me then I shouldn’t get married in the first place. I know this a tough teaching and contrary not only to what most of the world teaches but also to what some Christians affirm. If you'd like a more mature take on Christian marriage and divorce see here.

More on children of divorce in American magazine Newsweek
Albert Mohlers Blog


Bad Fashion #3

The tuck
This is another really bad mistake. The problem is that this can be ok if the shirt is a proper shirt with a proper tie. Unfortunately though most fashion victims make the mistake of doing this with a t-shirt or similar (see above). Most worryingly are parents who force their children to commit this faux pas condemning them to a life of ridicule and social awkwardness.