The Shack

I've been hearing mixed reviews of this book. Some Christians I've spoken to rave about this book and others see it as a bunch of post modern rubbish. I haven't read it yet but I'm keen if someone wants to loan me a copy. A couple that I've read can be found below*.

Over at Sola Panel
Or in this months Briefing
Tim Challies

*Disclaimer I'm not saying I agree with everything in the reviews


What the kids are up to...

My mate Josh sent me though a link for one schoolie who is blogging their experiences for a West Australian newspaper.

Leavers started off with a bang for my mate. He scored and I got kicked out of our room. He got her number but reckons he won’t bother calling her. Just a one-night stand, he says.
It's interesting stuff. You can read more here.


I found this very funny

This definitely gets an award for shameless self promotion.


Piper on Porn

The great tragedy is not mainly masturbation or fornication or acting like a peeping Tom (or curious Cathy) on the internet. The tragedy is that Satan uses the guilt of these failures to strip you of every radical dream you ever had, or might have, and in its place give you a happy, safe, secure, American life of superficial pleasures until you die in your lakeside rocking chair, wrinkled and useless, leaving a big fat inheritance to your middle-aged children to confirm them in their worldliness. That's the main tragedy.
(More here)


I love my wife

I'm sitting at home listening to the Weepies waiting for my wonderful wife to get home. I love her very very much. I'm a very happy man when I'm with her. That is all.


Capitalism or Socialism?

What's the Christian approach? As I promised earlier Mikey answers the question. Below are my sketchy sermon notes. Enjoy.

1. The Legitimacy of Private Property

  • God rules over all
  • God Gives his people "stuff"
  • Incentive doesn't equal greed
  • What about Acts 4:32?
2. Justice and shalom/peace
  • A fair system/method versus a fair outcome/result
  • God can do both
  • God brings justice and judges
  • Bible rebukes unfairness of method
  • We must hear this voice
  • We must be generous
3. A Call to Entrepreneurial Generosity


Window cleaning for YOU

I worked as window cleaner for two years before retiring to take up my current job. During this time I worked in some of the most expensive houses in Hobart with their fussy owners. I was recently asked what the best way to clean windows is. Here are my two options for the home punter.

Option 1. Buy good gear from a cleaning shop (Tas Cleaning Supplies OR Hunters). You'll need a minimum of a squeegie and an applicator (about $50-$80 for both) a bucket of warm water and with quality detergent (add a dash of ammonia for extra kick).
Method: Use the applicator to apply your detergent solution in a swirling motion rather than make straight up, criss-cross up and down lines. Same goes when you squeegie it off. If possible try to clean the window with one fluid swirling motion. It takes practice but this way you’ll avoid streaks.

Option 2. Windex and Newspaper
Method: Spray on Windex. Wipe off with Newspaper.

Notes: Remember that even though Option 1 is more expensive it yields the best result. Futhermore the gear will last for many cleans and replacement parts are easily available. Finally don't ever use cheap cleaning products (Chickenfeed) they are cheap rubbish. I know I worked there and have tried most of their products. They yield a bad final result.


(My) Unofficial Birthday Party

Last year Jonny and I shared a music/karaoke party. We got a couple of bands together including my good friends Dave Mac and Alex P. The night was a memorable and enjoyable. We played an assortment of covers. I ripped it up on the drums. Alex ripped up with some AC/DC. And Dave put us all to shame with some very professional Crowded House covers.

This year I decided that this year rather than inflicting my musical talents on my friends I'd just head along to Jonny's party.

But if you like bad covers singing and music but a rocking good time consider this an unofficial invitation to my unofficial birthday party. I can't put the invite better than Jonny.

Anyone with a practiced piece of music is most welcome, and an ability to jam on more than 2 chords will be just as good. "The band" may even practice requested songs before hand, but I doubt it.

Bring your own food and drinks, but if this turns into a drunken karaoke night that features "ultimate rock balards" that the band can't even play, then I guess it won't be as bad as last year.
More details here.


Are Christians Capitalists or Socialists?

It's a good question and we'll be looking at it this Sunday.

Mikey is cooking up a ripper sermon as you read this. I don't really plug my church often enough on here but you should totally come and check it out especially if you haven't been before. Details see our website.

For my international readers I'll post a link when it's up.


Church for the unsaved

I'm big fan of author Tim Keller. His book The Reason for God has been one of the best books I've read this year. I've ordered a copy of his new book The Prodigal God. Here's an excerpt from it (with thanks to Al Bain).

"Jesus' teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing, religious people of his day. However, in the main, our churches today do not have this effect. The kind of outsiders Jesus attracted are not attracted to contemporary churches, even our most avant-garde ones. We tend to draw conservative, buttoned-down, moralistic people. The licentious and liberated or the broken and marginal avoid church. That can only mean one thing. If the preaching of our ministers and the practice of our parishioners do not have the same effect on people that Jesus had, then we must not be declaring the same message that Jesus did. If our churches aren't appealing to younger brothers, they must be more full of elder brothers than we'd like to think."


Learning to love your inbox

The average person my age has more technology at their disposal than a CEO of just a few years ago. You’d think that as part of this technology cloud we’d become more effective at communication and organisation.

I believe it’s actually the opposite. The sheer volume of information that get’s thrown at today’s people is huge. Email, msn, skype, gmail, gmail chat, yahoo chat, blogging, rss, twitter that’s even before I get to facebook… I could go on. This wealth of information has a number of implications;

  1. Learning to love Information. We must love information and increase of capacity for handling it. We must work hard at filtering and capturing information. We must build become effective at categorization and systems that allow us to quickly and efficiently handle electronic communication.
  2. Organisation. In order to navigate this tricky world order it’s essential to be organised. Many people forget appointments because they fail to write them down or keep an up to date diary.
  3. Harnessing technology to be organised. The chances are that you have more technology at your fingertips than you know what to do with. It’s essential that you learn how to use it and find a system of organisation that works for you. If you think an iphone will make you organised then bully for you buy it. If you like a paper diary go for it. My point is something is better than nothing. Technology is your servant not your master.
  4. Communication. Multi layered approach to relationships is essential. We can no longer think of relationships as being primarily in person or primarily electronic. Communication takes place many levels we must embrace communication with people using diverse means at our fingertips to prevent misunderstandings. We must also learn the rules of various forms or communication (see my posts on email etiquette).
One could be tempted at this point to simply give up. For example the cry "Why bother? What a waste of time." This is to fall for the false view that because something can be used to waste time, it’s therefore a waste of time in itself. I think often this complaint stems from an inefficiency in the handling information rather then a problem with the thing itself.


I'm looking for jobs


How long does it take?

To get a refund from the Department of Transport/Service Tasmania...?

Since 23rd September 2008... and still waiting.


Fundamentalism and what I believe

Mikey and I had an interesting conversation the other day about the differences between Fundamentalism and what I'd describe as the form of evangelicalism we'd subscribe to.

You can read the write up of his thoughts here.


Swapping Adam's Lunch

Adam is my friend.
Adam reads my blog
Adam always eats the same lunch every day.
Today I switched his lunch.
I've been planning it for about 3 weeks. My previous efforts earlier in the year had been primitive and hadn't worked so I waited for a few months and hatched my daring plan.

First I took... yuck

And put it on his Salada Biscuits being careful to make it look exactly the same from the outside.

Looks exactly the same. Perfect

Then while he was distracted I did the switch. He may have just caught me do something so I distracted him with a little "patter" about current events. Any fears he had were removed. A smooth well executed operation.

Adam if you are reading this I'll see you at Lunch.


Being Mr Meaty

I was chatting with Josh tonight and thought of an important clarification to being Mr Meaty.

It could be easy to mistake Mr Meaty for the dude up the front, or the guy with successful marriage or the cool preacher man with the awesome engaging sermons. All this is to miss the point of Mr Meaty. Mr Meaty isn’t about trying to be someone you’re not.

Mr Meaty is an ideal it’s about doing the best with what you’ve been given. As a Christian bloke it’s knowing your gifts small or large, public or private and using them all to the best of your ability for God’s glory.


Melbourne Cup tokenism

I don't understand horse racing. I don't mean that I can't understand the rules, I just can't understand what the big deal is. Generally I don’t really like gambling not because I’m a Christian but just cause it seems like a waste of money.

I also don’t understand why the daily tabloid papers seem to think that hot women with fake tans and big stupid hats with random horses on the front page sell papers. Why do people care?

Having said all that I’m a totally inconsistent hypocrite. I went in the Office sweep at Jane for the Melbourne Cup. For my two bucks I bought one horse for Christine and myself and managed to win five bucks with my horse coming in 3rd. Interestingly the last time I went in a Melbourne Cup sweep (at Chickenfeed a few years ago) I won the blooming thing with a two dollar entry.

My motivation both times has been wanting to be more involved the community rather than wanting to win. Unfortunately this year I didn’t even end up watching the race. It feels like my involvement is nothing more than tokenism. I should be happy I won but I don’t really care.


Strahan and back again

At Mikey's suggestion Christine and I went away for a mini break on Friday and Saturday. I borrowed my old car from my brother and we drove to Strahan on the West Coast. Unfortunately I was sick with a sore throat (still?) there whole time.

The mighty Camry (Chugging since '89)

View from where we stayed. Pretty swish.

It was a really beautiful to get away and enjoy part of the State which I've called home for the last fifteen years. If you haven't been here you should come it's simple as that.

Most awesomely we picked up a hitchiker from the Czech Republic who was interested in talking about Christianity. Good stuff.


What would Mr Meaty do?

Josh asks a common question in a timely manner. This is Josh's second go at blogging and he's been hard at it... it's definitely worth a read.