Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Friday, April 17, 2009

New Blog - Caught

I've decided to start afresh with a new blog - focussing mostly on my/our involvement in the community development (missional) side of things.

I've signed up with Missional Tribe and that's where you'll find me from now on, if your interested.

The address is:

Hope to see you there.


Thursday, February 12, 2009


I've been enjoying Snow Patrol's new CD - A Hundred Million Suns - over the last few weeks. My taste in music is varied. I like hard rock - was once in a pub band that played hard rock, and I still enjoy AC-DC, P.O.D., Creed and other heavier bands. But I also enjoy other stuff. The John Butler Trio is good, I'm a Crowded House fan from way back (was really upset by Paul Hester's untimely death). I enjoy blues and get into a bit of BB King and John Lee Hooker and recently have been listening to a new, young UK artist called Newton Faulkner with the album Hand Built by Robots.

But there is definitely something about Snow Patrol that keeps me coming back for more. The first album I bought was Chasing Cars. The palpable yearning that exuded from the lyrics hooked me. I don't know any of their earlier music, but their latest album, while very different to Chasing Cars, has grabbed me in a similar way. Lightbody's lyrics are poetry. He captures something of the human condition in a way that is rare.

A great new collective of EMC church types has hit the netwaves in the form of Missional Tribe. This place has an amazing collection of blogs from many of the well known, and not-so-well known missional practitioners and commentators. It's fantastic to have such a rich resource so readily available and I fully recommend checking it out and, signing up and setting up your blog.

Within a day of joining I had Frank Viola send me a "friend request"!

Lastly, you should check out Hamo's latest post. It is a quote from Eugene Petersen on the mistake of falling into the trap of believing the mission of God is immediate in its effect.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Finshing up in paid church work

Tomorrow will mark the last time I speak at Binningup Beach Christian Fellowship in my paid role as the churches "pastoral worker". I accepted an offer to work with the City of Bunbury as their youth development officer earlier in the week.

I had already resigned from the church but was not due to finish up until April, so this has brought the finish forward a bit. The new position is full time and involves the development in implementation of youth focussed programs and projects for the City. I'm excited about starting, and also a little nervous.

I'm also a bit nervous about finishing up with the church. I've been working for the church for 4 years now -3 in a paid capacity. I feel like I have invested a lot of emotion and time into this community of Christians and while in some ways its difficult to let go and move on, I am also looking forward to a change of scenery, away from some of the restrictions and difficulties of church work.

Alternate[Or] Community continues to be a focus for Alyssa and I. We both envisage this taking over as our primary "church" from now on. Although we will still maintain ties with Binningup and will be holding a house meeting here around once a month which we hope, one day, might turn into something more regular in the town.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


When I first starting working for the Binningup church I had a few goals. One of them was to catalyse a movement of the church away from the fringes of the local community in both the minds of the members and the community itself.

Back in 2005 we published a flyer with information on the church. Yep, the thinking behind was probably a little more attractional in focus than we would like to admit now, but it included the slogan "A part of your community". This was the first outward expression of this goal. Even though the majority of the members and most of the leadership at the time had no idea how that would work.

The front of our original brochure

This week I feel like that goal has been achieved, that the church has corporately managed the move from an irrelevant institution to an active (and even proactive) member of the town.

Around 3 weeks ago the church was asked by a community group (one that in the past has been quite openly antagonistic towards the church) to organise the Australia Day Breakfast for the town. What eventuated was a coming together of 4 different community groups in a great effort to serve and raise funds for the community.

The church was joined by members of the Surf Club, the Watersports Club, the Tennis Club (and some of the Alternate[Or] Crew from Bunbury to fill a few gaps) in setting up, serving and making the breakfast happen. More than 200 people turned up and well over $1000 dollars was raised to put towards cricket practice nets and new tennis courts for the town.

The community in action at the 2009 Aussie Day BBQ

While there will always be those who will want the church to stay on the fringe, for the most part things are changing and the church is now really begining to be seen as a part of the local community, caring about many of the same things the rest of the community cares about and wanting to make a real difference in the town in positive ways.

Way back in 2005 when I first started talking about this kind of thing, someone called me an idealist. Well, maybe I am, but I think this is proof that having ideals isn't necessarily a bad thing!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Are our attitudes to alcohol killing our kids?

The West Australian Newspaper published the results of a joint study between the paper and HBF (a health insurance organisation) in WA where more than 650 people between the ages of 15 and 30 were questioned on their attitudes toward alcohol, drugs and binge drinking.

76% of those polled admitted to regularly binge drinking*.

This afternoon (after reading the survey results in the paper) I was told a 16 year old boy died on the weekend after "sculling" (rapidly consuming) a bottle of whisky on Saturday night. This boy was a part of the extended network of young people we work with through Alternat[Or] and his death has hit hard. But not hard enough to change young peoples drinking habits.

Our attitude to alcohol is killing our kids.

This is something we need to take incredibly seriously.

Through my work professionally, and informally, in working with, mentoring and diverting young people involved in problem drug and alcohol use, I have found the number one most effective way of achieving positive change is via meaningful, genuine, ongoing relationship.

I have seen many young people completely change their attitudes and behaviour to drug and alcohol use through an ongoing process of engagement and mentoring/discipleship.

Unfortunately, there are not many of us willing to invite young people into our lives, and even fewer willing to critically assess their own liberty - their own social use of drugs - and they way it impinges on the development of the next generation of Australian adults.

What are you prepared to do? What are your answers and/or experiences in dealing with the cultural of heavy drinking that exists in our society?

*Just a quick disclaimer! I'm working from memory. If this isn't the exact figure, it's pretty bloody close. I can't find the results online and don't have a copy of the paper as I read it while having a cuppa in the cafe this morning.

Monday, January 19, 2009

God's still in the hot seat on UK buses

English blogger, Chris Goan, posted this yesterday on the current atheist advertising campaign on UK buses. I posted on this back in October last year, when the campaign was first announced.

Chris draws a couple of interesting conclusions at the end of his post, including pointing out the unfortunate way aspects of Britain's evangelical right seem to be dealing with it - adding fuel to the atheist's fire in the process. Chris also links to an interesting story on the BBC website about a Christian bus driver who refused to drive the buses featuring the atheist'
s bill boards.

I wonder how long it will be before the same campaign is run somewhere in Australia? How would you react if it did run in your home town? Should Christian's hold the monopoly on use of the media for evangelistic purposes?

Picture nicked from

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Israel, the innocent victim?

Those with a Facebook account, check out this photo album from Michael Prysner.

Hamas are in the wrong. They should not be firing rockets into Israel or attempting to provoke war. But, Israel is so, so incredibly wrong in retaliating in the way they have. So much devastation, so many deaths. The cycle of violence and hatred is perpetuated.

I can not even begin to understand the blind, biased attitude of those who support Israel in this action. Look at these photographs and then tell me that Israel is doing God's will!

Not feeling guilty?

These videos will soon change that!


Thanks to Blind Beggar