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.