Brett Geeves again

I've blogged before about Tasmanian cricketer Brett Geeves. He's got a new post up on his blog. It's hilarious and you should definitely read it right now.

Back to work.


The best problem in the world to have?

Too much money! Am I the most successful fundraiser in MTS apprenticeship history? Well unlikely... I have however managed to raise extra money above and beyond my wage. In fact more than $2000 extra... this I'm told by MTS minions in high places is pretty rare.

My reason for posting this is two fold.

Firstly I want to again thank all the people who helped and contributed to my MTS apprenticeship over the two years I did it. I am extremely grateful and have been blessed by people's generosity. I am humbled that people believe in my Christian work and abilities.

Secondly I'm faced with the question of what should I do with the money? The Crossroads powers that be have offered the following options.

1. TBT for 2010
2. Jake Bevan and his MTS apprenticeship
3. A Crossroads Data Projector Laptop
4. UFC work by Mikey Lynch

What do you think?


I'm sick at home but I'd rather be at work

I'm sitting at home on the couch surrounded by tissues, on an self enforced day off work sick. I have some sort of cold thing (just over a week after getting a "flu shot"). I know it's not a "cold shot" but still I hate crappy sick. This is made more frustrating given I really wanted to go to work today. I like my work.

My blogging has been pretty sparse mostly because I'm really busy. On the other hand I've been loving micro blogging on Twitter. I signed up for Twitter a while back and wasn't quite sure what to do with it. The clincher for me was integrating it into a little chat based program for Mac called Adium. Adium quickly and easily allows me instant chat multiplatform.

Most usefully I can update my status from Twitter* then it automatically updates across, MSN, Gmail chat, and of course Facebook. Tweets from people I'm following on Twitter pop up just like normal conversations in chat tab. It's very neat.

I know many of you out there aren't convinced by Twitter and would argue "it's just another thing" and "waste of time". However I think if you can integrate it somehow into the exisiting systems you use, you won't find it hugly intrustive or time wasting. Just some food for thought.

*Twitter support for Adium is still currently in beta and can be found here.


Old skool and sucking the marrow out

This weekend I felt like throwing some stuff out. There's nothing like visiting someone older to remind you of all the useless junk one can accumulate in a lifetime, but I digress... So I went through some old Christian stuff I had put in folders. "Back in the day" We ran a ministry training course called "Fightclub" where we trained each other to live and appy the Christian life.

Check out Salt Magazine (in blue) from the year 2000... errgh yuck.

There's probably about a whole ream of paper's worth in the picture I'm throwing out. Some of the topics covered included "Sexual Holiness" "Spong Spotting and Hin Hunting" tonnes of stuff about "Training", a couple of things on "How to apply the Bible". Three lots of stuff on How to write a sermon. Also covered was "The Gentle art of Evangelising Ockers" "Dealing with infertility" (I don't think any of us had kids at the time) and "Branding and the Christian Ethos".

As I trawled through all the paper, there was about 4 folders worth, (I've kept 3) it occurred to me that I've kept more information from "Flightclub" than from any of my uni courses. In fact I probably did more learning and working at church than I did at Uni during this period of my life. I don't regret it for a second. Looking back it's the stuff I learned during "Flightclub" that I value the most and reap the reward from now.


Clarkson on Aussie cars. File under C for cultural engagement

You can learn much about our great country and the history of motor sport in this little review. Here's a taster...

At the Bathurst race from which this limited-edition Vauxhall takes its name, there are pitched battles between gangs of Ford and GM fans. Proper bike-chains-and-flamethrower, Hell’s Angel-type stuff. And the only time they ever came together was when a chap called Jim Richards won in a Nissan Skyline. Such was the torrent of catcalls as he climbed onto the podium, he leant into the microphone and called the entire crowd “a pack of arseholes”.

(more here)


Pimp my ride.

Thanks to uncle Davo Olivia has the most fully sick pimped out Mountain Buggy ever.

Skulls on pram wheels... are totally awesome. Rush in to Kens Self Cycles in town, ask for Dave, and reserve yours today.


Slumdog wolf shirts

Two awesome things happened to me tonight. First, I finally watched Slumdog Millionaire which is, without a doubt the best film of 2008 (sorry Adam it was much better than the Dark Knight). Second Christine tipped me off about the Three Wolf Moon Tee Shirt phenomenon over on If you don't think the click is worth it here's the review that started it...

"This item has wolves on it which makes it intrinsically sweet and worth 5 stars by itself, but once I tried it on, that's when the magic happened. After checking to ensure that the shirt would properly cover my girth, I walked from my trailer to Wal-mart with the shirt on and was immediately approached by women... As I arrived at Wal-mart, mounted my courtesy-scooter (walking is such a drag!) sitting side saddle so that my wolves would show. While I was browsing tube socks, I could hear aroused asthmatic breathing behind me. I turned around to see a slightly sweaty dream in sweatpants and flip-flops standing there. She told me she liked the wolves on my shirt, I told her I wanted to howl at her moon. She offered me a swig from her mountain dew, and I drove my scooter, with her shuffling along side out the door and into the rest of our lives...

Pros: Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women
Cons: Only 3 wolves (could probably use a few more on the 'guns'), cannot see wolves when sitting with arms crossed, wolves would have been better if they glowed in the dark. (more here)



To whom it may concern

In February 2009 I bought a Uniden cordless phone as an addition my existing cordless system. In March, having heard nothing I patiently sent the email (below) and was informed of a further delay and that the shipment was expected in April. Having heard nothing in late April I rang Uniden and spoke with a representative on the phone, who informed me that my shipment had been delayed further and was due in May

As you no doubt are aware it is now well into May and still I am yet to see any evidence of my phone ordered and paid for in full back in February.

Frankly I think this is a disgusting way to treat a valued customer. For a shipment to be delayed for this length of time is to my mind unacceptable. It is especially disappointing that I have not been kept up to date as to the expected arrival of my goods. Instead I have had to take the responsibility of chasing you for goods that I paid for. This is just not good enough.

In my years of successful Internet shopping I have never experienced such disappointing service. As it stands at the moment I cannot possibly recommend you, your products or services to friends and acquaintances

I look forward to hearing how I can be adequately compensated for my wasted time and money.

Regards Mike Jolly


The joy of ebay...

By the time you read this I will have probably sold Christine's old iBook computer on ebay. It's pretty exciting for me because I've never delved into the dark realms of selling or buying on ebay for myself.

Recently as you may know I got a new computer for work which in turn meant that my faithful black Macbook became Christine's. We put her cute little iBook away purely for setimental reasons... until I suggested we have some fun and put it on ebay. Christine was most agreeable (she's not very attached to "stuff"). I wiped the hard drive, ran all the system tests on it and did a fresh install of the Operational System.

At the moment the bidding stands at $360 crazy stuff. I'll keep you posted.



It's amazing how much can happen in a just a couple of weeks. I have to pinch myself on my way home from work when I think about how lucky I am to have landed my job. To give a bit more information I have an official title something like "Design and Support". What this actually means is I put together brochures, photo boards and various advertising for the houses we sell. My job also has scope to work on improving and implementing some new organizational systems. It's also meant I've been able to get a brand new mabook with Adobe CS3 for my design work and get to indulge my 'analness' which is most satisfying.

In short I really enjoy my job I find it interesting, challenging enjoyable I am very greatful for the opportunity the guys at Petrusma have given me. Pop onto thier website and have look it's pretty schmick.

In other news I bought Christine an iphone... (which I think is a nursing Mum's best friend) after her Mum washed her old one while she was here. Christine loves using it to do her email, facebook and skype while holding Olivia with the other arm. In fact she doesn't really use her computer (my old one) anymore.

And finally K Rudd gave me my 900. Seeing all my dreams have come true at the moment maybe I'll give it away.


The message of easter pick-a-match

  1. "Jesus was the deposit and the connection point when he was hanging on the cross at Calvary to unite us to the mains power source of heaven so we can experience a healthy well balanced life."
  2. "We do know what is right and that from deep within the soul an inner voice makes this clear to us... let us take time out to reflect , to listen for the inner voice of the spirit and as it leads us into what is right and good, let us know it and do it and thereby demonstrate new truth in our world."
  3. "How many of us continue to live in fear anxiety and guilt how many of us feel that we have been crucified by a cruel world?... Out of the darkness of our pain and fear we can find our true selves and come to know something of life in all its abundance."
  4. " Easter is the time we remember just how serious God is about sin - serious enough to send his son to die on the cross so our sin could be forgiven... Jesus died for our sins. Not for them, but against them to forgive us and to set us free, so we can rid ourselves of the effects of living our lives independent of God."
  5. "Include the resurrection and we have the greatest demonstration of love and the most amazing hope for a hurting world that history has ever seen. Jesus dealt with the greatest issue facing mankind today - our brokenness and sin - and his resurrection proves he is who he said he was."
  6. "Christ sends the message return to the beginning. This is what the resurrection personally challenges us to do, seek that renewal by returning to the dream, the hope and the discipleship. Often our faith becomes tested and our dreams become crucified, but, like the disciples we must return to our Galilee or Jerusalem where we can experience a resurrection in ourselves."
  7. "The message of the cross is this; God who is holy cannot dwell with that which is unholy. To do so would be impossible... human beings must be somehow transformed so that they can be holy or "righteous". Righteousness is not about living a better life than others but about being in a right relationship with God."
  8. "Where is consolation found amidst the anxieties and tragedies of life... May Christ's promise of his presence... be real to me... May the resurrection be my trust and hope. The promise of my eternal dwelling with Christ where there will be no more tears and sorrow give me comfort and resilience to go on."

A) David Jones (Presbyterian)
B) Kay Groves (Churches of Christ)
C) John Harrower (Anglican)
D) Lucas Jacometti (CCC)
E)Andrew Glenn (Uniting Church)
F) Graham McClimont (Salvos)
G) Adrian Doyle (Catholic)
H) Bernard Cottuli (AOG)

*Picture courtesy of number one google image search for Jesus.


The problem with Christianity is... guys dress badly.*
The guys and girls from UFC are asking this question for their mission at the University. And people have responded. You can read the full number of responses here. (the formatting is pretty hideous but it's a good read).

I especially recommend the responses to anyone who works in christian ministry. Asking the world questions about how Christians are perceived is always a great way to engage with people evangelistically.

*I've been saying this for a while now.


In brief...

  • We got robbed. I confronted the guy in our bedroom. He apologised and gave me back the cash he'd taken off my desk. I proceeded to call the police while giving chase but the guy but he got away when he jumped a fence and I went to try and cut him off.
  • I've completed two weeks full time work. I have much to write but not enough time to write it down. My new job is working for Petrusma Property. It's a great job and much better suited to me. I do editing, graphic design, IT and other ninja stuff.
  • Working full time on top of Jane work and Baby stuff is hard and I'm very tired.
  • I'm getting a new computer for my work which is very tasty.
  • Christine's parents have gone back to Germany. It was awesome having them here they were a tremendous help.
  • Olivia is still a little monkey.
  • My life is never boring.


Olivia and the airwalk

Christine and I along with both sets of parents went down to the Tahune Airwalk last Saturday. It was the first trial run of the Mountain Buggy. I was on my best behavior until the lady at the front desk, glancing at my Mountain Buggy pram, said "If you need some help we can call and get someone to drive you up there."

Part of me wanted to piffle her in the head for a) doubting my awesomeness* and b) doubting the MB. "You won't be able to get up the the stairs." she insisted. Part of me inside wanted to yell "Don't you know I AM MAN! Me have Mountain Buggy!" but I mercifully refrained.

Not only did I push the MB all the way up the stairs but also all the way down. It's a tough pram and Olivia, strapped in tight, loved it. About half way up Christine's Dad spotted a group of grey haired older folk sitting taking a breather. He walked up to them...
"So you guys are all here ready for the bungee jumping class?" he announced, as though he was running the course. I had to run away before I wet myself.

* I probably mean "determination"


You need new glasses... or why I quit.

So I got a job... finally. After about two months with no full time job* I was really grateful to these guys for giving me a job as an Opticians Assistant. I'm cautious about saying too much now but I very much enjoyed the short time I worked there.

On Monday afternoon just hours into my new job I received a call from a good friend who was really keen for me to work for his company. A position had just become available. The offer was too good to refuse. It was more suitable to my skills and talents as well as being more money. Once I made my decision (and it took me a while) I went and tendered my resignation as Opticians Assistant. I did however complete the week of training finishing on Friday afternoon.

In one week as an OA I learned heaps. I learned how to fix and pull apart a number of different types of glasses and frames. I learned about different types of lenses, coatings, contact lenses, and sunglasses, frames, transitions… the list goes on. I also had my eyes thoroughly tested (it turned out they are still fine).

Most of all I enjoyed being part of a local Tasmanian business that appreciates and actually cares not just for it’s employees but also it’s customers and patients. I would highly recommend that if you need to get glasses or have your eyes checked (it’s free every 2 years in Oz) then you visit a Total Eyecare store near you. And while it might not be the cheapest place in Hobart to visit, it would be the best… they even bought me a farewell cake. Total Eyecare thank you.

*My job as Resident Fellow at Jane is part time.


Being a bloke 101

I've blogged some stuff about masculinity and christian masculinity before 1, 2, 3, 4. It's a good topic and one I shall continue to follow with interest. I read this just this evening on the Gospel and Culture Project blog.

" defining masculinity and femininity in static terms, and then in re-enforcing those understandings, many evangelical writers turn a blind eye to ways in which their own culture has shaped their notions of what seems “natural.”
You can read the rest of the article here.


Brett Geeves Blog

Subject: Brett Geeves Blog

Hey guys
I was wondering if you could provide an RSS feed for Brett Geeves very excellent blog. It's a pretty common practice in the web world.

If you don't know what I'm talking about then this is perhaps a request to pass on to your web/internet monkeys. Oh and tell Brett his blog kicks ****.

Cheers Mike Jolly
h/t Angus for link to his blog.


I heart twitter

I'm loving twitter at the moment. I had this piece of ministry advice come through this morning from Mark Driscoll on twitter.

Spend money on those things that grow the ministry and not simply on those things that make it easier.
It's good advice for Dan and Crossroads. Read more here.


The rock concert... what happend to the drunk girl?

It’s early on a Saturday night and I’m sitting on my prime-viewing ledge at the University Union bar. The gig starts. A guy in a crazy green suit wanders on stage (see below). His lyrics are garbled noise over a disco pop beat with a really heavy bass. He screams… a lot. From my position I watch as he wanders the room assaulting members of the audience and screaming in their faces. I’ve never experienced anything like it before. I want to hate and dismiss him as a crazy wanker but he’s just too keen.

I'm getting bored. On the other side of the room I spot a security guy with his fluro top on inside out. Classic. Next a guy walks past me wearing sunglasses on his head. No kidding. It’s night and we’re indoors. Evidently his girlfriend has the same disease of stupid cause she has her sunglasses on her head too. In front of me stands meat head man with a mullet that partially obscures his Opeth tee.

The support band come out, Trial Kennedy. They rock hard in a way your Mum would hate. Their drummer doesn't have a shirt. They have strong harmonious vocals reminiscent of The Butterfly Effect. People look more drunk. It dawns on me that in order to dance up the front you need a lot of confidence or just be really pissed. I can’t see myself doing either maybe that’s why I don’t dance.

It’s about 11pm when Birds of Tokyo come on stage. The lead singer looks like my computer nerd friend Matt. He dances with a sort of jerky nerdy motions. His vocals are spot on. The crowd seems to pulsate in time to the music like a large bodily organ. It’s the middle of the concert and a slight framed (drunk) girl jumps up next to me and proceeds to fall asleep. I’m not sure how, the music is very loud. Jason leans in and asks me if she’s ok.

They pump through their songs and people seem to enjoy it. Light explodes all over the room, music washes over me. I tap along. It’s a nice night out and I feel young again.


Choosing a pram... controversy.

I finally bought a pram. I looked at a number of different ones and finally narrowed it down to two. Phil and Teds and Mountain Buggy. The particular models I was looking at were the urban elite and the Phil and Teds dash and vibe (probably the natural competitor of the urban elite).

I had many strong recommendations for the phil and teds from closely trusted and valued friends and it did present a strong case. However my problems with the Phil and Teds were...

  • It is a compromise pram. Bad for one child but good for two.
  • The second seat needs to be removed before the pram is folded.
  • It felt really clunky to drive especially with one child. I felt like I needed a longer handle.
  • Having the capability for two seats upsets the balance of the pram when you have one child. I found it really difficult to maneuver around up and down curbs and bumps when I tried it out.
  • The phil and teds (vibe) had very large footprint ruling it out.
  • The hand brake while sounding good seemed fiddly to use in real life.
  • Everyone has Phil and Teds (I'm not a follower of pram trends).
On the flip side the Mountain Buggy...
  • All the Mountain Buggy prams felt beautifully balanced. Compared to the dash and vibe the urban elite wins on overall feel and drive-ability (all far superior).
  • The urban elite and vibe cost about the same. The dash was slightly cheaper.
  • The handle seemed to be slightly longer suiting the taller person.
  • The Mountain Buggy is undoubtedly the better pram in terms of quality and make. The urban elite made from more durable fade resistant, water resistant canvas. The dash was just made from normal cordura (not as good).
  • While it had a slightly larger footprint it still fitted easily in the small hatch of my car.
  • When I thought about it I'd rather have a good one seat pram for a while then trade up later.
  • The mountain buggy looks way way cooler.
My conclusion; The Phil and Teds is great if you have a couple of kids it's a bit clunky and not easy to maneuver. However the Mountain Buggy's superior comfort and drive-ability mean that for one child you won't ever regret buying it... that is until you have another child. It'll be controversial I know, but I bought the better pram... the Mountain Buggy urban elite*.

* If you are wondering about Christine's opinion, she was happy with either pram. My feeling was that I should buy the best pram I could for her and the Mountain Buggy simply best met that requirement.


Only in Australia

"Kangaroo intruder terrorizes sleeping family"
...No I'm not kidding. It happens all the time. ;)

h/t Seumas


Know your issues...

I’ve been asked a number of times how I knew that Christine was the right one to marry. I’ve really struggled to put it into words until last night. I was watching a sermon and it suddenly dawned on me that you should marry someone you agree with. I think this is good advice not just for Christians but in relationships more widely. Many Christian guys I know have a list of things in their head it goes something like this; Is she Christian? Is she hot? Is she single? Sometimes in reverse order.

I’m not trying to critique this particular view but I would like to add an element to it. Marry someone you agree with. I’m not saying you need to agree with absolutely everything (that would make life boring). What I am saying is it’s not as simple as just marrying another Christian… “Ok are we both Christians? Yep. Let’s go for it.”

Everyone has “issues” both theological and otherwise. This could include the type of church you attend, the style of worship you enjoy, whether you think the wife should stay at home with the kids, right down to whether you leave the toilet seat up and where jam is stored (cupboard or fridge).

All of these things are “issues”. To marry right you must know your issues. More importantly know which ones you can let go and which ones you can’t. If you are passionate about the toilet seat but don’t care if your wife is the breadwinner then bully for you. But know which issues you have to hold to and which ones you can let go. One of the biggest mistakes I made in my relationships was to think that I didn’t have any issues. I thought that I was godly enough just to let things go. I wasn’t and I learned the hard way.

So if you are dating (or thinking of it) let me ask you some questions. What are your issues? What things can you flex on and which one’s can’t you flex on? Here was my list of non flexible theological issues in order of importance.

  • Christian?
  • Passionate about ministry and involved in church?
  • Strong theology of the roles of men and women in the church and home?
  • Calvinist?
  • Theology of spirits work in believers*?
* What I mean here is I potentially couldn’t marry someone who had a Pentecostal view of the second baptism of the Spirit.


Ten years ago this year...

This year it’ll be ten years since I became a Christian. My story is pretty ordinary. There were no fireworks, explosions, blinding lights not even a voice in the night. It is the journey of the mind and the heart to an understanding of the graciousness of Jesus.

I was brought up in a Christian home but didn’t really take it too seriously. Late in year twelve one of my friends challenged me about how I lived my life. I knew I needed to fix things up in my life. I treated people around me pretty poorly including my parents and friends. I was a selfish and angry dude but I was also upset and broken. I can remember riding my bike down to the water and bawling my eyes out with frustration at life too often.

As I began to try and clean my life up I spent some time around people who read the Bible and prayed each day. The Bible for them wasn’t just a devotional and inspirational text but a book to be studied, understood and read in context like any textbook. I realise that sounds dry but for me this was revolutionary. It engaged not just my heart but my mind also.

For this reason I left my parents church met some other people who would have a profound influence on helping me to understand the gospel properly. I can still remember doing SUS (a Bible study on the first 5 chapters of Romans) for the first time. It was upstairs in a pub with people who weren't old. One night I remember I was especially struck by the Bible’s claim that all people deserved God’s judgment and condemnation. I knew I wasn't a good person.

As I went home I can remember thinking that Christian’s didn’t go to hell, but I wasn’t sure why. Later that night I read ahead of the study to Romans 3

Now we see how God does make us acceptable to him. The Law and the Prophets tell how we become acceptable, and it isn't by obeying the Law of Moses. God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins.
That night understood grace from God in sending his son Jesus, for the very first time.


Flowing locks. Shameful but true.

What: I'm giving away Michael Bolton's Said I Loved You But I Lied from the album The One Thing.
Type: CD Single includes bonus track Soul Provider.
Condition: Used... but very good condition I probably listened to it once. Also contains small picture of Michael Bolton with chest hair (sorry no picture).

Does ANYONE want this CD or should I just break it up and do the world a favor?


Some random reflections on birth

  • I don't think anything can prepare you for the birth of your own child. In spite of all the gruesome videos and books and parenting classes. Having a kid changes everything.
  • Everyone is an expert when it come to raising children. "Sleep for 3 hours feed for 1... you must get routine." "I can't believe you let other people hold her." "I can't believe..," the list goes on.
  • Everyone has their own little bit of advice about what to do. Very often most of the advice is contradictory other advice you will receive. I've tried to pick what I reckon is right. Trying to weigh it up make a wise choice.
  • Listening to your own child cry really chills you to the bone in a way that listening to to other people's kids crying doesn't.
  • I have a new appreciation and respect for women especially those who go through child birth.
  • You don't always do things the way your parents did. You can set your mind to do stuff differently... and succeed.
  • Don't be afraid to break conventions. There seem to heaps of unwritten rules when it come to child rearing. It always feels like someone is judging you for the decisions you make, push on they are your child.
  • In the parenting DVD I watched, men were made to look pretty useless when it came to helping Mums out. I was disappointed. I'm trying hard to be the bathing and nappy changing ninja. I am not some useless male oaf.
  • I've found the need to be confident and strong even when I don't feel it. I need to do this to support my wife and child. They are both vulnerable at the moment.
  • I'm glad I haven't got a job yet as it's meant I've been able to spend heaps of quality time with Olivia and Christine.
  • It's been nice having people drop by and give presents. It's much appreciated.
  • I promise I will not use a picture of just Olivia as my profile picture... anywhere. Just as I promised I wouldn't use my wedding photos as profile pictures. To be honest I find this practice a little lame*.
  • It's not possible to spend too much on a pram.
*Please try not to be offended it's just my opinion.


Car Alterations*

It’s lazy Sunday afternoon and my mobile phone rings. It’s Davo. Usually when we call each other there’s a bit of silly brotherly banter and maybe an impression of our Dad… but not this time there’s a no-nonsense tone in his voice.

“Now listen carefully man. I’m serious. I’ve had an accident in the car. I’m Ok and in Launny in the Hospital.”
My guts sink in me. “You ok then?” I ask.
“It’s a write off."
“Oh well don’t worry about that.” (I‘ve always had a love hate relationship with that car).
“Do you want me to pick you up?” I say looking at Christine to see if it’s ok.
“I’ll leave straight away seeya soon.”

I don’t think I’ve moved faster out the door in my life. Redbull check. Water check, ipod check, and I’m off. The road isn’t too busy and the traffic is light. I drive with the headlights on and the speedo bang on 110. Drink water, overtake, Campbell Town, egg and bacon pie. Time moves quickly. Two hours pass.

Davo walks out to meet me as I pull up outside the hospital. I give him a big hug that he probably doesn’t like. He tells me what happened. He’s pretty calm, Dave and are usually are pretty calm when s**t hits the fan. He tells me how the car slid off the road and how the tree just missed him. He tells me how people picked him up with all his bike stuff and helped him strip the car of it’s small Sony stereo and battery. We spend 15 mins talking to the insurance company to make sure they can recover the car before heading.

We pick up Davo’s stuff from a short stocky friendly guy we chuck it in the back of my newly fixed Corolla… it all fits. We drive back. We talk but don’t chit chat much, we don’t need to. We’ve travelled together many times before. It’s like communicating in code. We get back and it’s about 9pm. I drop Dave off after visiting Mum and Dad who are surprisingly calm.

It’s 10pm and wearily open the door to our flat.
“That you Mike?”
“I’m having some strong contractions.”

*Davo thought of this title.


5 shamefully bad CDs I've bought

  1. Celine Dion - Best of
  2. Maria Carey – Best of
  3. Spice Girls – Their first Album
  4. Michael Bolton – Single
  5. Avril Lavigne - Album
Ok so they are pretty bad. What about you? Time to own up.


I don't like Bible study but I do like Tim.

Now don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't like the Bible or studying the bible itself. What I'm talking about are small groups that weekly read through a passage in the Bible with a series of set (or unset) questions. Let me try and pin why I don't like it.

  • It always feels out of control and messy. Sometimes it can feel like everyone wants to have their little say but we just don't get anywhere.
  • I'm not always awesome thinking on my feet and often struggle to "get" what people are saying.
  • Sometimes they end up pointless arguments over small things.
  • I never feel totally confident leading a study. I used to spend hours and hours preparing for studies and was still wracked with self doubt.
  • I freak out a bit when I can't answer every question.
  • It's worth noting this is my personal feeling and not a reflection on others. On the flip side I really enjoy 'one to one' and preaching... but just not Bible study.
All that brings me to the Crossroads MENS bible study which Dan roped me into running late last year. I'm about to hand it over to Tim H*. Tim previously has done an awesome job as FOCUSutas president in 2008. He's a really top bloke, tremendously encouraging, and has grown heaps in his faith over the last couple of years. I've been feeling a bit sad about handing things over. Maybe I have actually grown to enjoy my MENS Bible Study. In any case I have every faith in Tim and he'll probably do a better job than I.

Tim you get the award for being a Christian I truly respect.

*Just so you know I'm stopping the MENS study to free myself up to run another Bible study here at Jane.


Shameless Olivia Promotion

More pictures over on Facebook.


Welcome to the world little girl

Olivia Kious Jolly
Born 7:20am 16th February 2009


671 posts and counting

I've finished the process of stitching this blog and my old blog together. It's a relatively new feature on blogger but a really useful one. You can now read all I've ever written dating back to 2006 when I started blogging as supportMIKE.

  • I've also updated and fixed broken links between the two blogs.
  • I've been over the 170 or so posts from my old blog and tagged them and done a little tidying of spelling etc.
  • I've fiddled with my template a bit and enlarged the regular size text to make it easier to read.
  • I've also updated my interests and reworked my blogger profile.
Happy reading. Enjoy.


Planet X... in grade 4

This is a story I wrote in about grade four. I don't think I took it very seriously. Our teacher was Miss Ross. She was a bit older. My brother stuffed gum nuts up the exhaust pipe of her car. I didn't like her. Anyway I digress... on with the story.

It was a windy day on the Planet X. Zinca who had big teeth was on duty to make sure nobody went to the castle. There was a visitor on Planet x who didn't know anything about the planet. he walked up to the house and opened the door. Immediately he was pulled to the ground and killed.
By Michael J
This is obviously the arty illustration to go with the story.


It's time to change

Drum roll please. I've finally got round relaunching my blog as promised. You'll notice a whole new look. I've been fiddling with this template for a while now. I think I'm almost happy although I'm not settled on the tabs in the bar. Feedback is always appreciated.

I'm not sure if or when I'll come back to paid church ministry stuff in the long term. There are possibilities around but that will be for 2010. As I've stated previously my current job search is for a regular style job. In the mean time I intend to keep blogging and ranting about all the stuff I usually do.

Enjoy the new look post supportMIKE... during the twilight years.

*EDIT* I have also stitched my old blog to this blog. I'll fix all the links over the next few days.


Let's play nice ok?

Anonymous comments annoy me. It's no big secret.

Generally people on this blog keep their comments constructive but there are always a few that slip through. I try very hard to have a thick skin. Some of the harshest comments on this blog have stood because people used their name, but similar things said anonymously I have deleted.

Making anonymous comments isn't usually a constructive exercise. I liken it to walking into a party wearing a ski mask and proceeding insult the host and fellow guests in a loud voice. Responding to anonymous comments is also frustrating. I don't know who you are or your background. It may be simple misunderstanding or maybe I have actually offended you and should apologise. I also don't know whether you are a Christian or not*. There are any number of alternative options available to the anonymous commenter

  • Use a pseudonym.
  • Send me an email or facebook me.
  • Talk to me face to face.
  • Finally, not read my blog.
So why not turn them off then I hear to ask. Well there's few reasons. Firstly I often post about subjects that lend themselves to anonymous comments. I'm usually happy to receive people's experiences in this medium. Second some people don't have open ID or similar. Third I try to be optimistic when it comes to my readers. I'd like to think that people can be trusted to do the right thing and keep it constructive.

So let's all play nice ok?

*These sorts of simple things can make a difference as some posts are written from within a (admittedly my) Christian world view.


Porn Questions...

Hey Mike,
I’m Christian bloke dating a Christian girl. Should I tell her that I used to have a problem with pornography?
Thanks heaps X

Dear X

It’s really difficult for this situation to go well either way. On the one hand fessing up is the best and most honest thing to do. Being transparent and open in a relationship especially one leaning toward marriage is very important. The point at which to do this in the relationship is harder to pin down (probably not on a first date). Let your conscience guide you.

On the flip side telling your girlfriend about your porn problem nearly always leads her to feeling betrayal and deep mistrust of you for what you’ve done. I also think the longer you leave it to tell her about the problem (eg. When you are married) the greater the damage to relationship. One friend of mine didn’t confess to his wife till after they were married. They needed to visit a counselor to work though their issues.

If you choose to tell her you need to be sensitive to her feelings. You need to validate her feelings and seek to empathise and understand how she feels. It’s right for her to feel shock, anger and betrayal. Explain to her you aren’t proud of your actions. Importantly you must tell her you’ve sought forgiveness from God. Next show her the steps you’ve put in place (accountability etc) to make sure that you don’t make the mistake again.

Finally if you find this becomes a burning issue in your relationship seek help and advice. The best thing for you to do would be to sit down with a Godly married couple preferably younger (I think it’s difficult for older people to understand the problem or porn let alone to talk about it) or alternatively a qualified counselor. They can take you through and help both of you get perspective on the issue.

Trust that helps
God bless Mike


My epic Corolla Seca... the story continues

I've blogged about my car before and people weren't hugely interested but I'll persist anyway. Please know dear reader that I heard you inwardly groan as you read the title of this post. Still with me? Well read on I'll be brief. As reported back here my car looked a little like this...

The insurance company wrote the car off and gave me $4000 dollars and the wreck back... that was in September last year. Much time and effort later Jonny and I finally got it back on the road.

You can see all the rest of the photos of the build over on facebook here. The job isn't completed quite yet. Next week it'll visit the body works then after that the air conditioning will be re gassed. Don't worry I'll keep you posted.


Are you a real Atheist?

A very good and interesting article over at the Sydney Morning Herald. Here's a quote to get your juices pumping.

"For a large number of people the tag "atheist" functioned as a protest against formal religion. Something similar to this may lie behind the rise of "no religion" in this country."
You can read more of John Dickson's article here.


Dear Cricket Australia

28th January 2009

The Selectors: Australian Cricket Team

I am writing to you to apply for the job playing in the Australian Cricket team.

It probably hasn’t escaped your attention but we aren’t doing too well in test matches or one-day internationals. As I write this we are in grievous danger of loosing our number one team rankling. I firmly believe that I should drafted directly into the Australian Test and One Day squads for the upcoming tour of South Africa. I know this a very risky move but I truly believe that for us to become the great cricketing nation we once were, we must take risks.

Although my recent work experience hasn’t been so much Cricket related I still believe I have what it takes to be a valuable member of the touring team. In my previous lines of work I have garnered a reputation for my sense of humor and prank challenges. In spite of this I have never felt the urge to ring up radio stations while drunk. If I were to get the job I would promise to continue this exemplary behavior.

I have a broad cricketing experience. From a young age I have known and understood the great game of cricket. Similarly I have watched many matches on Television and am very passionate and animated in my support for the Australian team. Relevantly I attended the recent one-day match at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart and watched Australia win a close and exciting game. I enthusiastically participated in chanting “You are a w**ker” at the security personnel as well as the more traditional “Aussie aussie aussie, Oi oi oi”. I'm a passionate guy.

Back in 2000 and 2001 I played cricket for a local team called St Johns. In the two games I played, I only dropped two difficult catches while fielding at fine leg and third man. I was a regular and reliable member of the team and never missed a training session or felt the urge to go fishing instead. While I never scored a run batting, I was involved in a last wicket stand that would put some recent Australian batting performances to shame.

Last year I spent working in a residential college where I played “Backyard Cricket” regularly. I quickly mastered the complex system of rules including; one hand one bounce, ‘sundial’ (don’t ask), tip and run, and ‘foliage’. While not an outstanding player I was an important team member as the ‘lifer’ team defeated the ‘freshers’.

I was asked as recently as last night to play indoor cricket by a friend here at Jane in spite of him not having seen me play. This kind of self-belief is what the selectors need to show for the future of Australian cricket. I am also well versed in the ancient Australian art of sledging. I believe that political correctness has impacted poorly on the Australian teams ability to sledge well. I yearn for a return to the good old days when names like Merv, Boonie and Warnie led the way for the younger players in drinking and sledging.

In short, I believe that I’m the person the Australian team needs. I look forward to speaking with you in person.

Yours Sincerely
Michael Jolly


Twelve dollar icecream... a short story

"I feel like an icecream" said Christine.
"So you want me to get some?" I said, "I reckon it would be melted by the time I get back."
"We could go together..." said Christine.

So we went for a wander down to the Salad Bowl on Australia Day to buy ice cream. Upon arrival we were confronted by a plethora of deep frozen choice. Straight away my eye was drawn to a very small (500ml) tub of ice cream.

"It's twelve bucks!" I said "I've got to see what a twelve dollar ice cream tastes like!" So I bought the Maggie Beer Vanilla Bean Elderflower Ice Cream for twelve dollars.

What did it taste like? My twelve dollar ice cream tasted crap. Vanilla Bean Elderflower Ice Cream what was I thinking? Note to self, keep it simple stupid.


Australia Day 2009

Aussies in the cricket, check
Australian Open Tennis, check.... with...The Hottest 100 on the radio, check*

Beer, check
Vague attempt at looking patriotic check**

What did you do?

*in the photo of the TV above the radio is on
** I look like a tool


Mr Meaty #2

Pinning down what it means to be a bloke (MAN) gets more and more difficult especially for Christian blokes. Here's a helpful collection of thoughts I've been sitting on for while now.

Stuart Scott writes
Though culture is pushing for unisex everything, men and women need be careful that they are distinguishably different from the opposite sex in appearance, mannerisms, and cultural concepts of appropriate gender behavior. Some men might need help to recognize and change effeminate habits, which they have inadvertently developed.

All men should fervently seek to pursue a true and life-changing understanding of the basic characteristics of man and Christ, take to heart specific biblical charges to men, and look for opportunities to lead, love, protect, and provide. Then, he will be a real man.
Douglas Wilson writes:
We have lost an understanding of imitative masculinity. Because of this, our boys veer into one of two ditches. Either they embrace humility without boldness which in boys is effeminate, or they embrace boldness without humility which is destructive.
John Benton writes:
There is need for repentance. Perhaps single men have used the strength they have to serve themselves rather than other people. Perhaps husbands have used their strength to dominate their wives and children. We need to learn to come back to God, back to his Word of Scripture, and learn again to walk with him. To be a loving sacrificial servant of others, as Jesus Christ was, is not to be namby-pamby. It is to be a true man.
John Piper writes,
At the heart of mature masculinity is a sense of benevolent responsibility to lead, provide for and protect women in ways appropriate to a mans differing relationships.


Bad fashion... Jake Bevan

Jake is one of the new MTS Apprentices* at Crossroads . Like I did, he has to raise all his own wage for his two year term. He needs your financial and prayer support... also a new pair of black socks for committing this bad fashion crime on Sunday night.

If you'd like know more or send him some dosh see here.

*The same job as I had.


Way behind I know...

But this comprehensive article in the New York Times covers Christian preacher Mark Driscoll's phenomenal success and also gives a good explanation of Calvinism and Complementarianism, theological views to which I subscribe.

If you haven't already read this article or linked to it get over now and do it. I especially recommend it if you've not heard of the guy.


How to read more when you aren’t good at reading.

If you aced English in year 12 this isn’t for you. If you romped through university and read more books than George Bush last year this also isn’t for you. This is for you, if you struggle to read books.

Back in primary school I used to read a lot. I didn’t get massively into classics but I read a good deal of novel trashy stuff. Then puberty happened and I started reading Asterix and Obelix, Tintin and assorted magazines much to my parents despair. Soon I began to struggle to read whole books. During my time at University I had barely read a whole book (I read the main parts) and battled get the minimum reading done for my subjects. It’s been like this ever since.

(Books beside my bed I'm reading... or trying to)

So one of my aims last year was to read more. And I succeeded. So if you are a struggler like me here are some helpful hints and tips.
  • Reading with someone else. Heavy theology and brain stretching stuff is best read with someone who can help you understand the terms, what is actually being said and can prod you when you nod off. Mikey and I read some of The Holy Trinity: In Scripture, History, Theology And Worship by Robert Letham. It was powerfully awesome.
  • Finding an author. I read books by Keller, Driscoll, Miller, Dickson, Jensen and Clarkson. They write clearly and can easily be understood. I finished most of these books because they were interesting and well written. I searched out other books they'd written and bought them and read them too. I recommend these authors if you aren't a good reader.
  • Reading books for a purpose. I find that I’m better at reading a boring book if it’s for a particular purpose eg there's a book that addresses a particular heresy I'm interested in. I think sometimes people read “classics” not because they want to, but rather they want notches on their theological reading belt. Sometimes reading classics can just leave you bogged down and feeling depressed. Just a hunch.
  • Not feeling guilty if you can’t remember what you read. I used to smash myself up and try make my self take notes when I read Carson. It made reading a horrifically painful experience. I think talking to someone about what you’ve read is just as effective and less painful.
  • Not feeling guilty if you don’t finish reading a book. If you get the gist it’s totally ok to put the book back on the shelf. (Repeat that sentence as you do it).
  • Reading Multiple books at once. This was a revelation. I have about 10 books on the go at the moment. I pick up whichever one I feel like reading at the time. I have a book for every mood.
  • Reading on the toilet*. I’ve never been able to read the Bible on the toilet (it just didn’t feel right) but The Briefing and Wheels make for excellent trashy toilet reading (I enjoy both). More reading will help you get better at reading and make going to the toilet a more pleasant experience.
(Toilet reading; Wheels, Pulse and The Briefing)

*Safety first kids. Keep the lid down when you flush and always wash your hands.


Anthony asked me...

...why I post about such inane things like this. The answer is that for many people cleaning isn't something that comes naturally. Have a look at this plate which was "clean". I took it and cleaned half of it. Look for the slightly grey side... (click for bigness).


5 christian friends who have influenced me

  1. Mikey – Pastor of Crossroads church. Taught me much about myself and my relationship to ministry and people. Helped me to move more like a ninja when I talk about my faith and showed great belief in me and they gifts I have.
  2. Seumas – Bible College and language ninja extraordinary. Seumas always thinks outside the square. He’s from Sydney not Hobart and he’s cool but in weird way. Amazing intellect. We chat regularly on Skype.
  3. Benny – Taught me heaps about ministry and University work. He also taught me humility and how to disciple others, helped shape my mind to become sharp. He also stood by me in some really tough times.
  4. Sam Green – For preaching and teaching faithfully good solid theology and grounding me in basic understanding of the Bible over my Uni years.
  5. Paul Chew – Taught me the basics of Romans 1-5 and put up with my annoying questioning of everything in Bible study when I first become a Christian. Thinks outside the square and puts up with my annoying questions still.


supportMIKE blog statistics*

2008 looks something like this;

Total hits for the 2008 year 30,640
Total hits since I installed the statistics counter in June 2006 101,700

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year.

*You of course can look at these for yourself anytime.