5 New Year Resolutions

  1. Get to bed earlier
  2. Find a job
  3. Be a good parent
  4. Keep blogging
  5. Get a car that goes


2008 reviewed blog style

Here's the year in review as seen through the eyes of my blog. Enjoy.

(9 posts) - Tasmanian Leadership Convention, Yamba Maclean Mission and my bro lost his crappy job. Things were looking like pumping for 2008 FOCUS work.

February (12 posts) - I bought Mark Driscoll's book I still haven't finished reading it. We made the move to Jane, I crashed my bike and still have the scars. Most significantly I probably made the hardest decision in my life so far goodbye FOCUS.

March (5 posts) - Dark Times. I posted very little this month in fact a record low for this blog. Looking back there is very little substance to any of these posts. I was feeling really really crap. On a positive note I revived my ipod.

April (15 posts) - The month started poorly. I blogged about the problem of pornography not once but twice. I followed this topic all year. I began my series of posts on bad fashion now one of the most Googled set of posts on my blog. Christine and I also took a nice holiday up the east coast of Tassie.

May (16 posts) - I bought that car. Laura arrived from the US of A. I blogged about divorce (and offended a anonymous regular reader). I also blogged about porn again. This was the month I preached a fairly average sermon at Tuesday Crossroads and really began the battle to organise the the MTS Tasmania Conference.

June (18 posts) - We did some beer tasting with Laura before she departed. I posted a couple of rants one on hybrid cars (Which I still standby). For some reason I posted stacks of pictures some of them quite good. I should add my good friend Benny got hitched in poo paddock. I also think my friend Adam from Jane began reading my blog. He has become one of the people I hold in my mind as I write. Oh and in a very subtle way we announced we were having a baby.

July (14 posts) - I got sick. It was a bit of a ranty month and I got plenty of comments. The two most commented on posts were Pro Consistency where I argued that Christians should name their children before birth. (With hindsight I would have worded the post differently as it wasn't intended to cause offense. Provoke people, yes but not offend). On the other post I ranted;

I think often Christians already come across as bunch of right wing George Bush loving, Today Tonight watching latte sippers. You can be a Christian, believe in climate change, appreciate art, drink fairtrade coffee and vote left wing too.
That post drew one of the harshest comments on my blog to date. Finally for July there was bad fashion number #1.

August (12 posts) - I smashed up my body not once but twice. I Got sick again but completed the mammoth MTS Challenge Conference which rocked even though I didn't go. I also began a new series of rants on how to use email properly.

September (22 posts) - With the completion of the MTS Conference it felt like the fog had lifted and I increased the number of posts to a high for the year. Christine crashed my hard worked on car. No one really read this post. This was contrasted with the 2nd highest read post in the history of my blog about Mark Dricoll and his 18 points in Sydney. Other topics covered included; How annoying Sydney people are, How to run a successful blog, more Driscoll, and still more Driscoll.

October (20 posts) - My email etiquette series continued . Christine voted in an historic election which saw her cop flack (mostly on facebook) for daring to suggest a vote for Obama. It really frustrated me but this made me laugh. Of course in a reoccurring theme for 2008 I got sick with the flu again. I wrote a review of one of the post powerful pieces of TV I've ever seen and in a popular post taught my mates how to clean a shower.

November (19 posts) - I swapped a friends lunch, took a weekend break, won some cash on the Melbourne Cup. Quite a few posts linked to other people's opinions rather than my own.

December (32 posts) - I've been going blog crazy this month. I've had long stretches of duty here at Jane in which to think, reflect and write. This has meant I've posted some of my most personal and juiciest stuff to date. I also posted one of my best bits of writing this year complete with a follow up. I've also written a some longer posts and introduced my 5 things posts an idea I thought of late one night while I was sick (again). December has been a good month.

Total posts for 2008 194 and counting...


Time to swing the axe

I can't believe we lost the second test to South Africa. I feel kind of hollow. Some people will no doubt say "it's good for Australia to loose", and "it's good for cricket". However the most upsetting thing is the manner in which Australia lost this last test. It was nothing short of humiliating going from a winning position to loose by 9 wickets. I'm still shaking my head.

It's time for the selectors to do some hard core axe swinging. Angus has some good tips.


5 Movies I’ve seen and felt like I’d wasted my life

  1. Be Kind Rewind
  2. Inspector Gadget 2
  3. Deep Impact
  4. Mr and Mrs Smith
  5. Million Dollar Baby


Reflections on Christmas and Santa

I've been thinking about Christmas and the "true spirit" of Christmas. Firstly it puzzles me that Christians continue to fight for a return to the "true spirit" of Christmas (the birth of Jesus Christ saviour of the world) when it feels like it's lost cause in the secular world and among my friends*. The "true spirit" seems well lost to materialism, family and parties. Perhaps as Mikey put it a while back;

Rather than fighting some silly rear-guard action trying to make people care about the spiritual significance of Christmas, and consequently ruining Christmas day with a church service... why not instead just use the time to love your family, write cards to distant relatives and eat a nice meal?
Perhaps I have this attitude because I'm a product of my generation.

My second reflection was to do with Santa. I'm a bit "whatever" when it comes to Santa. I don't understand why people get either all anti Santa or all pro Santa. My parents told me that Santa wasn't real from a very early age but encouraged us to pretend. We used to get right into it every Christmas and write letters. Mum would always write us letters back from Santa. It was great fun, like an awesome family in joke.

Unfortunately when we got to school we may have spoiled the idea of Santa for a few choice classmates. I remember a teacher giving me a dressing down about it which still makes me laugh. I like pretend Santa. What about you?

* I should say here I'm all for teaching my kids about Jesus at Christmas time. I just think as an evangelistic opportunity Christmas is limited or at least more limited than we're prepared to admit.


Politics and Religion

Firstly I read a very interesting article this morning on George Bush. According to the article Bush has read a total of 95 books this year. I'll give you just one juicy quote;

Like so many caricatures of the past eight years, this one is not only wrong, but also the opposite of the truth and evidence that bitterness can devour a small-minded critic. Mr. Bush loves books, learns from them, and is intellectually engaged by them.
George we don't agree on many things but I take my hat off to you. You've read more books than I.
h/t to Craig
I also found this article looking at Obama's decision to invite Rick Warren to his inauguration next month. While not a big fan I feel a bit sorry for Rick Warren. He's hated by the left for being anti homosexual but the right also disowns him for being "pro Obama". He can't win. What happened to tollerance?
For about a generation, many on the left have believed that active and unapologetic intolerance of the right was justified because its views on matters such as abortion and gay rights were simply unacceptable. This moral somersault may work for them, but to the average American voter, a full-throated assault on the likes of Rick Warren for being "wrong" on two of many issues looks like simple intolerance.


5 values for new Crossroads secretaries

  1. People over work. The Secretary should be free to tools down and hang out and chat with whoever drops by. Go and grab a coffee anytime.
  2. Efficiency and accuracy. This involves trying to get things done with maximum accuracy in all things (weekly email, spelling, Church rolls etc).
  3. Serving others. This includes serving the church members and staff (eg. Dan). The secretary should try and help out with the administrative burden where possible. Serving others also includes being hospitable.
  4. Technological proficiency. This is probably the most important. Mastery of the various programs we use in the office is essential to be a proficient secretary.
  5. The Boss. The secretary is the boss of the office. They have the right to boss people around even Mikey and Dan. Get angry and be bossy. People need to be a little bit scared of you not the other way round.


Vision and 5 values for the Crossroads Office

Vision: Luke H is impressed. Luke is our standard. When he wants to hang in the Crossroads office we have achieved our goal. We are still a long way off this.

  1. Neat and tidy. I managed this pretty consistently all year. I bought a vacuum cleaner and emptied the bins weekly. I cleaned and dusted.
  2. No accumulated rubbish and crap - For some reason the Crossroads office ended up as a dumping ground for crap. I took a whole trailer load of it to the tip late in the year. Churches and offices have to get better at throwing out donated crap.
  3. Thankful - We don’t pay rent and our landlords are awesome if a little Christian crazy.
  4. Hospitality - I didn’t quite nail this one this year but simple things such as making sure the tea and coffee are well stocked up and fresh. Maybe some icy cold cans.
  5. Not Belkirk - We want our office to be progressive with money allocated each year for small improvements. Maybe a nicely painted feature wall and no junk see point two.


Happy Christmas...

To you all and thanks heaps for reading.

For those wondering about the flurry of blog posts and crazy facebook updates in the last couple of days, I'm spending pretty much all of Christmas working here all day at Jane doing "duty". This basically means I'm bound to the campus here and can't leave for about 3 days.

Not to worry, I've been taking a few photos (the garden is at it's best this time of year) and watching some choice DVDs. Mum, Dad and Davo and Jonny came up for Christmas lunch too which was very nice. Jonny also made a cake from scratch and it was pretty bloody good. (Click for full deliciousness).

Anyway enough babble. Happy Christmas from Myself, Christine and of course Olivia.


You didn't think of that did you...

Custom hand written wrapping paper for my wife's Christmas present (click for bigness). Happy Christmas wifelette.


Email Etiquette #6

Colors and fonts

If you send an email that looks like the image above (click for full glory) Stop. Now. Please. Bright colors and huge fonts might look cool to you but are actually the enemy of the internet.

It reminds me of when the mature age students let loose with word art or animated transitions in PowerPoint. Please stop it makes the baby Jesus cry.

All other Email Etiquette posts here.


Snowiness in Seattle...

...has seen attendance at Mars Hill Church fall to the lowest in years. Mark Driscoll pastor of Mars Hill posts some thoughts. I love his post especially the disclaimer. Reminds me of my blog.

Note: This blog is not edited as everyone is on vacation and Pastor Mark had a few final thoughts before watching the Unit, eating chips and salsa, and passing out after the last day in a long and weary year so please forgive the poor grammar and punctuation.


5 actors you probably like... but I hate

  1. Will Ferrell
  2. Jack Black
  3. Ben Stiller
  4. Owen Wilson
  5. Jason Statham
I should note that I don't hate every movie these guys have been in just most of them.


5 things you probably didn't know about me.

  1. I have a cyst on the back of my head. Nothing bad.
  2. I went to Kip McGrath in High School for remedial work on my reading and spelling.
  3. I suffer with depression which comes and goes.
  4. I've worked for both the ABC and WIN Television.
  5. My pillow has a name.


5 things you should know before you read my blog

  1. I'm a pretty sensitive person. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
  2. I have some sort of mild dyslexia. So please bear with all my mistakes.
  3. I'm often deliberately provocative. It's blog. It's my opinion. It would be boring otherwise.
  4. If I offend you it's possibly because I haven't been clear in what I've said. In which case you should email me.
  5. I try to make sure I'm the same person here as I am in real life. There should be no disconnect.


Tim Keller says there is more than one gospel

"Like God, the gospel is both one and more than that."
And I agree (click here).


Don't throw the baby...

"Labor is like a journey from Hobart to Smithton," said hippy earth mother midwife.

"So how can we get there?" she continued. She took us through all the scenarios; car via East Coast and Launny, car via Midlands Highway, boat via East Coast, boat via West Coast, or car via Zeehan and Roseberry. Each form of journey corresponded to a particular experience and length of labor.
"Of course your labor could be just like flying direct, and take a couple of hours."

I don't think I'll think about travel in Tasmania in quite the same way again. The highlight was when about half way through she farted quite loudly. "Oooooo sorry that was me!"

About halfway though the third class we were taken out for a MAN talk. I wasn't enthusiastic. The bloke arrived. He had striped pants that were too small for him and a small sole patch. He looked kinda like a older man still holding to the idea that he can be cool. The bloke told us about his move going from being a hardened, tough coal miner to working as a counselor talking to men about their feelings. (Talk about extremes).

He took the four of us blokes to the hospital chapel. Not the wisest move. Now I'm not sure why but Chapels and churches tend to attract stacks of donated items. Consequently the furniture in chapel was all odd. There was also heaps of junk because no one wants to throw it out because, "It was donated!" and "You can 't do that!"

Picture four men (half of whom didn't want to be there) in a chapel, being asked about their feelings, surrounded by candles, flowers and Jesus' with an exploding hearts. Awkward. I thought about how much better the pub would be. This painful experience lasted for an hour. I watched the clock. I tried really hard to be a good participant, but the mish-mash of rubbish in the room and general air of awkwardness made it very hard.

The fourth and final class was last night, and it was by far the shortest and most useful. They brought in a live baby (less than 24 hours old) and showed us how to clean and bath it. A couple of the Mums were freaking out a bit thinking they'd break it. On the other hand the mid wife just chucked it around. It was pretty funny. The baby was returned to its Mother.

She then passed around a toy baby and asked what I'd do to help it settle it down. I rocked it gently in my arms and then put it on my shoulder and patted it's back. The midwife looked impressed.

"That's good Mike, now who's next?" she said, indicating I needed to pass the baby on. By this stage I wasn't really feeling like getting up off the floor and so I threw a perfectly weighted (netball) chest pass across the room to the next Mum.
"Oops I said," looking at the mid wife, with a naughty twinkle in my eye. The mid wife gave me a death stare. The other parents laughed. I felt good.


Thanks Mikey

I think I first got to know Mikey when I was around eighteen. I didn't click with him straight away, he seemed just a bit too smart. Kinda like people who you are too scared to talk to. He'd just become a Christian and seemed to have a real burning passion for what he believed in. I really respected this especially because I'd grown up as a church kid. Even though he (and most of us) said and did some silly things back in those days, I always had a sense that Mikey's heart was always in the right place.

I got to know him a bit better when he and Nikki moved into "The Castle" my now famous (or infamous) sharehouse. He and Nikki lived in the very top room. He used to sit up in their room writing sermons and long seminars for "Fightclub" our church ministry training course.

I couldn't say we got along really well or that we were close friends during this time but I remember realising that I didn't need to be intimidated by him anymore. Our time at the castle came to a close and we all moved out. It'd been my hope to move with Mike, Nikki and the others to another share house.

Mikey then did something that taught me a very profound lesson. I was about 23 or 24 and didn't have a particularly well rounded understanding of people outside of myself. He took me aside and explained I wasn't the easiest person to live with and it had been hard for he and Nikki to live with me. Although the criticism cut deep and I was pretty upset I knew it was fair . I apologised begged Mikey for another chance. After talking with Nikki, they decided to give me a second chance.

I learned a lot about myself that day, and my treatment of others. Still more I learned about giving people a second chance. I learned about grace. Mikey showed me that being a Christian wasn't just about being forgiven by a gracious God, but about showing that gift to other people.

Mikey has been fantastic in looking after me this year while I've been working at church. He's been patient and careful in his advice. We've even had fun working in the Crossroads office encouraging each other in anal orgnaisationalness. Of course it would be easy to miss Nikki out but if you know Mikey well you learn that she plays a very important role in his work too not just looking after the kids but giving him advice. She lets him give generously of his time and for this I'm grateful.

Mikey has been a great supporter of myself and my work over both the years I've been working. This year particularly he has taught me many things and been very patient. I'm very very grateful to him for his help and the hard work that he's put into me, my church and many other Christians here in Hobart and beyond. Thanks heaps man.


supportMIKE News IX

(A recent photo of the happy couple)
Howdy Folks

This letter finds me almost at the completion of my MTS/Ministry apprenticeship. I've just finished preaching a couple of sermons at Crossroads' Tuesday night and Sunday morning congregations. I felt like I was more back in the groove of things and I worked really hard to get both sermons up to my expectations. It was great to feel that connection with people from a preaching point of view.

About a week ago I helped out/organise the Tuesday Crossroads first birthday community event in South Hobart. It was a great success with a number of people from the South Hobart community coming along to chat and grab a free sausage. It was encouraging to be part of putting something back into the community and be able to serve the South Hobart community.

I've also been working hard in the Crossroads office taking some of the painful administration tasks away from Dan and Mikey and applying my sharpness to them. I've been involved with the steering committee with Dan and Mikey, in addition to being responsible for some of the smaller day to day decisions for Crossroads Church. I've tremendously enjoyed working with Mikey and Dan. We've had great fun in the office over the year (although not to begin with). Mikey has done a great job training me and bearing with my 11th hour "freak outs". I'm truly blessed to have worked with these guys. I'm also grateful to Sam Green, FOCUSutas and the AFES head office staff for their hard work particularly in my first year of my job.

(View from our new flat at Jane)

Things with Christine are going well. Her pregnancy has progressed very smoothly. If all goes according to plan we'll welcome Olivia Kious Jolly into the world towards middle-to-end of February next year. Most recently we've been attending parenting/birthing classes that have been long but at times entertaining. On top of completing a couple of classes toward her Master's Degree, she's been mentoring two young women preparing for marriage in the New Year, as well as, co-leading a women's Bible study. Sometimes it’s easy for me to forget how much work she does while I run around being “busy”.

I'll be finishing up my apprenticeship at the end on the 22nd of January. However last three weeks of this will be holidays, that I've been saving up all year. Christine and I had planned to travel to the USA during this time but this become problematic with Olivia's pending arrival. Instead during this time I plan to have a good rest and look for new employment. I'm not super fussed about what job I end up doing. I've committed to working here at Jane for all of next year meaning that I'll have to work my new job around things here.

Many of you may be wondering about whether we're planning to go to Bible College. The short answer is no. It certainly won't be next year but it's definitely one of the options for 2010. There also may be a small possibility of going back down to the University to do Christian work again. Stay tuned to my blog for more details.

I'm really happy with how things have turned out in 2008. It's been a difficult year having to adjust to a new job and new boss. I've been sick a fair bit and things often haven't gone according to my plan. However I've fought on and not given up by God's grace. I've most appreciated the people work that I've done this year particularly meeting with the various blokes. Many students have supported me in my work and I've found very often they have more to teach me than I do to teach them and they've helped and encouraged me greatly. Most of all I am very grateful to Christine and the great support she’s been throughout my whole paid ministry experience.

(Our new home at Jane inside)

Finally I'd like to take the time to say a big thank-you to you. I'd like thank all my readers and friends, family (and critics) all around the world for all your support (both prayer and financial) over the last couple of years. It's been a long crazy road and there have been some highlights and low lights but God has sustained me through all of them.

It has been a tremendously humbling experience to rely on others and God for my daily bread. God has taught me many things during my apprenticeship and for this experience I am truly thankful. It's my prayer that you may have been able to know something (through these newsletters and my blog) of where and what ministry, particularly my ministry, involves.

Please also feel free to pop by and visit my blog as I plan to keep it running in some form for a little longer. It's my prayer that you have a very happy Christmas and that the New Year brings you to walk closer each day to Jesus. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.

Thanks again and God Bless


Finally the gates lock

I locked the brand new back gates at College tonight for the very first time.

(click picture for full glory)

If this post means nothing to you that's perfectly ok.


Writing sermons my way...

I thought I'd write down a few thoughts about how I go about preparing a sermon. Please note this isn't meant to be necessarily prescriptive or imitated rather it's what I find helpful. Take from it what you want.

Maybe have a look and see how many things in the picture that would help me.
  1. Computer - I write all my sermons out pretty much in full in Word. I'd find it hard to write without my computer.
  2. Bible Gateway - I use this to get all my quotes and cross references from the Bible. It also lets me look at different translations.
  3. I think hard over and read over the passage and try and run it through my head in the weeks up till I preach.
  4. I think really hard about what my hearers need to hear. I sit and daydream their world so I know how to speak to it. I think hard about how the passage applies them. I sometimes get a strong feeling about what I need to say to them or what I'd like to say. I always then check back that this is actually what my text is saying.
  5. Take notes - Having read, prayed and thought about my text I take written notes. I write out a rough structure (points etc). It's usually messy and undergoes much revision.
  6. Dictionary - I use an online or hard copy to help me define any terms I don't understand
  7. New Bible Commentary - I like this. It gives a good overview without being overly technical. I use it to make sure I'm not off track with my ideas.
  8. Other Commentaries - I looked at two. Martin Lloyd-Jones and Don Carson. I found them pretty helpful. Sometimes they'd have a interesting observation or way of putting things. I'll write down anything that looks interesting or useful.
  9. I'll usually also grab a couple of books I've been reading recently and check to see if they have anything I can use that applies to my passage (it's easy just check the index).
  10. Google - I find is great to help me find quotes and cool ways of putting things in a fresh light. I especially like it when I find "non Christians" saying things similar to a point I'm trying to make with my sermon. (eg. See below)
  11. I like to think of catchy phrases to as I write/think. Things like "Sitting in the gutter looking at the stars" (which google tells me is from Oscar Wilde).
  12. Ask Christine - I'm generally not really good at this but Christine always gives helpful advice and links.
  13. Online Sermons - I listened to a couple. One by a preacher down at Kingston Church, the other by John Piper. Again I take notes and write down anything that looks good or useful.
  14. I next I paste the text I'm using into Word with verse/passage at top to keep referring to. I add any quotes in typing them out in full.
  15. As I write, I preach what I write. I say things aloud as if I was preaching to listeners. This way my text sounds like a sermon not an essay.
  16. I like to phone a friend. My friend Seumas is one of my brains trusts. Often I get him to jot down some thoughts on a passage if it's something he's studied. We either chat on facebook, skype or msn.
  17. I usually also run stuff by Mikey. With this one I sent him my text via email and we talked about it over the phone.
  18. It's really important to apply the passage to your own life. It took me a while with this last sermon but I think my best application was aimed squarely at myself.
  19. As I write more I practice parts (or all) of the sermon and work out how to vary the tone in my voice.
  20. Lastly I print out the final copy and highlight and underline it to reflect how I want to say things.


This is also really stupid

Internet Censorship. My friend Seumas says why... and I agree.

I may add some thoughts of my own at some stage.


It's really stupid to charge for sermon downloads

Shane the man with the tats has gone and said what I've been thinking for ages. It's really stupid to charge for sermon downloads. And I agree. You can read his full post here. Here is my recent experience.

Back in August I had the pleasure of attending a conference now famous for Mark Driscoll's 18 theses. As I listened his sermons they were awesome. So I filled out the form to allow them to charge me 50 bucks (I think that was the only option) and send me a full set of DVDs for the conference. No option to download.

Meanwhile I and others blogged about his 18 points and interest went through the roof. The powers that be in Sydney released the 18 point sermon for free download. I waited for my sermons... and waited... and waited... and waited. Finally almost two months later I received my set of $50 DVDs in the post. So I paid 50 bucks and waited 2 months for a sermon that was released free anyway. Not good enough people! Not good enough.

If Crossroads can turn around a sermon recording and host it free online within a couple of days surely the all the powers of Sydney can do the same. I assume it's the 21st Century there too.


Come join us in the gutter of life...

"Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars."
-Oscar Wilde


Happy Birthday TBT

Tonight was the first birthday of Tuesday Crossroads move to the Toilet Block (read Community Centre) in South Hobart. Mikey and I with a bunch of dudes from the TBT tribe worked getting the advertising out to the South Hobart Community.

We letter boxed about 1000 fliers, put posters in local shop windows and on notice boards. A couple of the fellas went and asked businesses for donations. They got a truck load of bread, snags, drinks etc. Our kick arse parents from Crossroads House and Sunday nighters brought along cool stuff for a couple of market style stalls.

And.... the rain stayed away... and people actually came... from the South Hobart Community.

You can see from the pictures it's the most successful event TBT has hosted. I'm happy with how things turned out. You can see all the pictures on facebook. Pop along and tag a nice picture of ya self. Happy Birthday TBT.


Empowering leadership...

Don't think the credit crunch is that bad? Well spare a thought for car manufacturer General Motors (who own Australia's own Holden). Time Magazine reports they are loosing money at the rate of $2 billion a month. Think that's bad? The company lost a total of $38 billion in 2007. Toyota on the other hand has weathered the storm relatively well. What's made them succeed you ask?

"They made the workforce integral to improving the system. Workers were not mere labor inputs... it required a buy in from the shop floor so that everyone was dedicated to improvement... [Toyota] relies on contributions from employees . It feels vulnerable but your willingness to be open to vulnerability is what helps you make it work."
Pastors/General Motors take note. An ability to empower people on the production line is part of the reason for automotive/ministry success. You can read more about empowering leadership here*.

*Cheers Mikey for link


I'm not into theology!

Back when I was doing my teaching degree we were constantly told to develop our "theory of teaching". One statement I didn't really like but stayed with me was that "Everyone has a theory of teaching. It's just how well it's understood and articulated". I think it's very similar with worldviews.

John Piper says this

Everybody has a creed. All people believe in something and shape their lives around it. Even agnostics believe very strongly that you ought not believe anything very strongly (which is why it is so hard to be a consistent agnostic). We all have a creed that we live by, whether we can articulate it or not.
For the same reason it really gives me the heebie geebies when I talk to Christians who say "I'm not into theology". I understand what they mean but it's a nonsensical self defeating statement.


It's funny cause it's true

Click to enlarge for full hilarity. Cheers to Pryderi for the link. Original image here*.

*That's for you Jason


Where to go... and what to do?

"Hey Jolly," said Dan. "Why don't you put a proposal together and come and work at Crossroads next year," a hopeful look in his eyes.

"I can't do it man," I said. "I'm just not pumped... I'm tired of working for Crossroads and I don't want to just end up being the admin dude. I'd just be doing it for the money and that's a crap reason."

"And Bible College?" asked Dan

"Baby is coming and moving... eek no way. And besides I've now committed to working at Jane as an RF for all 2009". I said
In case you didn't know I'm finishing my two year MTS apprenticeship soon. In fact I'm planning to finish up at the end of December. I'm then planning to take what's left of my holidays in January (Probably about 3 weeks). During this time I'll be applying for a new job and doing long stretches of duty up at Jane. Christine and I had planned to take January off to travel over to the USA but Olivia's impending arrival has changed that. It's going to be a long summer. I feel tired thinking about it.

It's no secret I've found working for Crossroads this year a bit of a battle. I haven't gotten as much out of this year as I did last. I haven't enjoyed my work as much. It's not that I don't like Crossroads or somehow bear it ill will. It's a me thing. I'm just not as excited and enthused as I was when I was down at Uni. I also think I'm better suited to Uni ministry also (but that's for another post*). I'm tired very very ministry tired.

Finally I'm not really sure what to do with this blog. I'm toying with the idea of closing it down as technically the stated purpose of supportMIKE will have come to an end. I have a lot of thinking to do over the next few weeks.

*I do also plan to do a future post thanking both my supporters and readers.


I spent too much time...

Working on the new MTS Tasmania Website. After my hard work hacking today it looks much better. I've also posted some thoughts up there about my MTS experience. Head on over and have a look at my handy work. I'm off to birth centre class.



One of my jobs this year has been working as part of the V100 IT ninja team.

My latest task is to access and assess the new look V100 website for usability and general user friendliness. So I'd like you to help me. I'd like you to pop on over then come back and leave some constructive feedback in the comments section.

Some thoughts I have so far

  • I like the brown colour.
  • I like the general look of the website.
  • I think the Vision 100 needs to be more prominent.
  • I don't like the square buttons at the top.
  • The Events Calendar is difficult read. Might be better to have a year view.
  • Too many tabs at the top (I'd file Newsletters with Support and do we even need the Events tab?).
  • I don't like the arrows for the drop down menus in the top tabs.
  • The front page calendar is hard to read and needs to spread more across the page.
  • Mikey's sermon link on the front page looks ugly.


Seriously? A load of...

I wish this was a joke. It annoys me. This really annoys me. Why do people buy this rubbish? Praise Ponies? Faith Hope and Love? Are you serious?

The text reads...

"Every little girl wants a pony! Now she can have her choice of three, each named after one of the Biblical virtues - Faith, Hope and Love. Each Praise Pony pack includes 10 accessories plus memory verses, teaching biblical truths that will last a lifetime!"
Jesus. Race To Win trucks? What has that got to do with ANYTHING?

Honestly Koorong leave the junk to Chickenfeed. This is why I once told the girl in Koorong "I'm sorry don't get your catalogues because it just makes me feel depressed". Koo-Wrong I'm very sorry but for selling useless junk you've just got a stupid award.


Baby class 101 (a review)

Christine decided she wanted to have Olivia at the Birthing Centre. Basically the Birthing Centre is for mothers who wish to (or at least try to) give birth naturally without drugs and the like. Personally I'm not fussed either way. Part of this process involves a 3 hour class each week for 4 weeks. 3 hours!! Not even the University lectures last that long. What could possibly take 3 hours?

Christine and I arrived slightly late. People were all sitting on lemon coloured pillows with their shoes off. There was a strong wiff of smelly feet. For some reason the midwife taking the class (I'll get to her in a minute) was playing something which could only be described as really bad pan pipe flute music (the sort you'd find in the two dollar bin at Chickenfeed). I think it was meant to make me relax... it was bloody awful and put me further on edge.

The mid wife running the the class was an older friendly looking hippy earth mother. She was dressed in a long skirt and top that looked like it had been bought at the Salamanca market. She began by asking us how we'd been born. "My name is X and I was a vaginal birth" she began in a soft tone.

She told us about the cervix being hard "like your nose" but then softening during labor "to be soft like the corner of your mouth". She told us about the three (or was it four stages of Labor).

For some reason she kept talking about Poo. When she said it she really lent on the "oo" sound sorta like a middle aged person when they swear. "You know when to push the baby out because it's a bit like when you go to the toilet to do a poooo... Sometimes the when the waters break they come out green because the baby has done a poooo." But my favourite quote was "Labor is like 9 months worth of period pain rolled into one... only worse."

It was all very informtiave but went for way too long, frustratingly long. She had dolls and posters with smily faces on them (that looked about 25 years old). While she was a lovely approachable kind lady, she kept digressing with little stories, nearly all of which had nothing to do with the class. On and on it went.

The evening finally finished with a DVD of women giving birth. I found it pretty confronting. This was mainly because the film was in German, filmed in the eighties, was filled with bad fashion and bad eighties german porno mustaches and had another filthy pan pipe number over the top. Pan pipes over women in labor!! It's not good people!

Now before people get stuck into me I learned plenty and the video was eyeopening to say the least. The session was most informative and useful. But 3 hours? Really?? Surely one an half to 2 at the most is enough. In fact if you'd cut out the stories it probably would have lasted 45 min.