Friday, October 31, 2008

interesting or annoying?

Despite my issues with his exegesis, Mark Driscoll has made many valid and insightful pastoral points in his current relationships series. Among his best, MD says:

"The difference between interesting and annoying is time"

speaking about the fact that we are often drawn to our opposite (extroverts marry introverts etc.)

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

two bonhoeffer quotes on singing

There are some destroyers of unison singing in the fellowship that must be rigorously eliminated. There is no place in the service of worship where vanity and bad taste can so intrude as in the singing. There is, first, the improvised second part which one hears almost everywhere. It attempts to give the necessary background, the missing fullness to the soaring unison tone, and thus kills both the words and the tone. There is the bass or the alto who must call everybody's attention to his astonishing range and therefore sings every hymn an octave lower. There is the solo voice that goes swaggering, swelling, blaring, and tremulant from a full chest and drowns out everything else to the glory of its own fine organ. There are the less dangerous foes of congregational singing, the "unmusical," who cannot sing, of whom there are far fewer than we are led to believe, and finally, there are often those also who because of some mood will not join in the singing and thus disturb the fellowship.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, from LIFE TOGETHER, translated by John Doberstein, Harper and Row, 1954, p. 60.

"It is not you that sings, it is the Church that is singing, and you, as a member of the Church, may share in its song."

Bonhoeffer, p. 61.

What do you think? Is unison singing superior? Are you guilty of adding a harmony part?

Monday, October 27, 2008

horseriding in rockhampton

birthday dinner and flowers

From my friend Sylvia.

Andrew made this. Char grilled salmon with pumpkin, asparagus and parsley relish. 'Twas very good.


I've been blogging for 6 months! Haven't run out of things to write yet...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Idol Review

I'm over it. Bring on the end of the series. Rolling Stones week. Was mostly okay.

Wes - Jumping Jack Flash
Good as always

Rushani - Wild Horses
Didn't like the breathy tones in her voice. Ear rings, dress and song all cabaret.

Luke - Honky Tonk Woman
A 'moment' would have been nice, but okay. I felt like doing a line dance.

Teale - You Can't Always Get What You Want
More soft rock with a country twang. Better than last week, but still...

Chrislyn - Get Off Of My Cloud
She performs really well, but would she sell cds?

Mark - Angel
First time I've really liked him. I could have gone on listening.

Top two - Wes and Mark. Bottom two - Rushani and Teale.

Song of Songs 5

I've just written and scrapped a post criticising an online sermon I listened to this morning. In many ways it was a good talk. It said lots of useful and insightful things about the ways that wives deny their husbands. Problem was that it linked the ideas to Song of Songs 5.

For the record, I'd just like to state what I think S of S 5 is about. Here's the passage. It's accepted that it's the woman speaking, except for the words in italics, which are the man.

2 I slept but my heart was awake.
Listen! My lover is knocking:
"Open to me, my sister, my darling,
my dove, my flawless one.
My head is drenched with dew,
my hair with the dampness of the night."

3 I have taken off my robe—
must I put it on again?
I have washed my feet—
must I soil them again?

4 My lover thrust his hand through the latch-opening;
my heart began to pound for him.

5 I arose to open for my lover,
and my hands dripped with myrrh,
my fingers with flowing myrrh,
on the handles of the lock.

6 I opened for my lover,
but my lover had left; he was gone.
My heart sank at his departure. [a]
I looked for him but did not find him.
I called him but he did not answer.

7 The watchmen found me
as they made their rounds in the city.
They beat me, they bruised me;
they took away my cloak,
those watchmen of the walls!

8 O daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you—
if you find my lover,
what will you tell him?
Tell him I am faint with love.

To me, this is what is going on. The woman is in bed at night, flitting in and out of sleep waiting for her lover. Her lover arrives at the door and calls for her to let him in. She calls back teasingly that she can't get up because she's already undressed. He tries the lock. She gets up to open the door for him (with perfumed hands - she's been expecting him!), but he has fled for some reason - perhaps because of the watchmen who feature in the following verses. The woman, in desperation (perhaps dreaming) goes out to look for him and is beaten by the watchmen. Overall, I think, the verses picture the desperate intensity of sexual love. It's like a fever. A dangerous thing.

Do you have any thoughts?

Friday, October 24, 2008

my new commentary

Today is my birthday! Andrew got me this lovely book* that I've been wanting for a while. Can't wait to read it.

* husbands. I wouldn't recommend that you buy such a book for your wife unless she has expressed a definite interest.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

student ministers

Off to a meeting tonight. A question to help me think through a few things beforehand...

What are the things a student minister should learn specifically from his church placement during his years at theological college?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

just so you know...

... It takes 2-3 washes to remove 30+ sunscreen from your hair. Apply carefully.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Teale lives on.

Who is voting for this guy?

desire resisted

desire resisted
over time
into a quieter longing
better directed

come lord jesus.

sar 2008

my beautiful picture

Joel made this for me for my birthday this week. I feel very loved.

Our dog is sitting on top of the second letter 'm'.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Idol Review

AI was on earlier tonight so I got to introduce the kids to all the wonders... Well, kind of. They've known about AI for many years and have watched it on the internet. It's 'mummy's show' and the reason why we all must chip in with the weekly house clean on Sunday afternoon/evening. Impossible to watch Idol when the house is dirty! Here's what we thought:

Pretty poor again. The first four should have been kicked off weeks ago.

Mark felt a bit flat - don't know why the judges were so positive. If Sophie can't make a 'moment' in that context, I don't think she'll be able to anywhere else. The limitations of Luke's voice are really becoming apparent. Weak. Teale is embarrassing. No more soft rock!

It was a relief when Chrislyn stepped on. She can sing and did.

Wes was by far and away the best. He sang 'If I were a carpenter'. Nice.

Roshani should have been great but it she wasn't. Off key and boring.

Top two - Wes and Chrislyn. Bottom two - Everyone else (Luke and Teale). Teale needs to go this week. Agree?

Joy is...

... getting paid $56 per hour to read The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe to a class of fascinated 9 year olds.


Vanilla slice has its own blog. If you're a fan, go and find out where the best slice is to be found!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Before The Music Dies

Want to know how to create a pop star? Watch this. Got to love auto tune.

Want more? Look here.

In a male teacher's classroom...

... it is very difficult to find a biro. Or a pencil. Or a timetable. Or a clean and flat piece of paper.

I have replaced 3 male teachers this last week. I'm sure they were all good teachers. The piles of stuff in each classroom showed that the kids had been doing some interesting things. But... female teachers (especially in primary schools) take pride in their beautifully decorated and ordered classrooms. Male teachers, it seems, don't. In one classroom the year 3/4 kids had exercise books they called their 'everything books'. They were for spelling, maths, art, science, whatever. The female teacher next door (who I've also replaced) would be horrified!

It takes all sorts!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

MD on Song of Songs

I've been listening to MD's Song of Songs series, The Peasant Princess. Of course he has lots of good and interesting things to say, but I think he's cheated a bit.

If you see the Song as a manual for sexual ethics and practice, the main issue you need to address is that of whether the couple were actually married. The passages which speak about her brothers suggest to me that they weren't. eg...

Chapter 8

1 If only you were to me like a brother,
who was nursed at my mother's breasts!
Then, if I found you outside,
I would kiss you,
and no one would despise me.

2 I would lead you
and bring you to my mother's house—
she who has taught me.
I would give you spiced wine to drink,
the nectar of my pomegranates.

3 His left arm is under my head
and his right arm embraces me.


8 We have a young sister,
and her breasts are not yet grown.
What shall we do for our sister
for the day she is spoken for?

9 If she is a wall,
we will build towers of silver on her.
If she is a door,
we will enclose her with panels of cedar.

10 I am a wall
and my breasts are like towers.
Thus I have become in his eyes
like one bringing contentment.

MD says they were married and gets around the fact that the ceremony doesn't happen til mid way through by saying that it's not chronological. My concern is that they really don't sound married while they do sound like they are enjoying eachother! I don't think it's a dream sequence either.

But if you're looking for a picture of happy monogamy, why would you expect it from Solomon?

goal achieved!

Regular readers might recall that I've been trying to lose weight. My original goal was to lose 7.5kg in 7.5 weeks. I lost the first 5kg pretty fast, but the last couple have been slower to shift. But I've now done it! It took me 10.5 weeks. I feel great.

Now the hard part. Not putting it back on again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

think, parents, think!

What hope is there for a boy called Hillary?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Idol Review

Rock night didn't really rock. Here's my summary.

Luke : Are you gonna go my way
Fun, but is it shallow that I want him shorter and leaner? He's trying to do the Shannon Noll thing, he just doesn't sing as well or look as good.

Thanh : Shadow of the day
Lose the piano! What's the point of sitting behind it if you're only playing sustained chords? We know that you can play... either play something impressive or just sing. I'm a little bored.

Sophie : Anna's Song
She's very pretty and knows what she can do well. Still bored...

Teale: Slide
Desperately bored. I wonder if they even bothered plugging in his guitar. I'm sure someone in the band could cover the four chords he's playing. If I could negative vote I would. I'd channel surf if I had a remote handy... This is not good.

Rushani : The Pretender
At last someone looks like they're putting in some effort. Not my cup of tea, but pretty good.

Wes : Desire
I love this guy. He alone makes the whole hour and a half worthwhile. He does U2 without looking try hard. He's got it all. [But what's with the stupid light show?]

Chrislyn : Don't Speak
Start wasn't so good, but it got better. I think this AI experience is going to kill Chrislyn. She is so young and so vulnerable. I think she's put on weight in the last few weeks which is a sign that she's not coping.

Mark : Sex on Fire
Not sure I like the song but he rocks. Impressed with the fire-transpire rhyme.

Overall, not such a great night. Top two: Wes and Mark. Bottom two: Teale and Chrislyn.

What did you think?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Where did I come from

Twas time to get us a 'where did I come from' book. So we went on down to Koorong. I had a title in mind that looked okay on the internet, so I went and found it in the store expecting to just grab it and go. I'm glad I looked inside first. The book (which was supposed to be aimed at 6-9 year old boys) recommended that when our kids ask 'where did I come from' we start by reframing the question.

Here's how the conversation is meant to go:

Boy: Mommy (yes, spelt that way), where did I come from?

Parent: Son, you mean you want to know how you grew inside me?

Boy: Yes, that's it.

Parent: Well you started small. See these pro-life photos here of a very tiny baby? Then you got bigger and bigger. See these pro-life photos? That's how it happened.

Boy: God sure made me special. Babies are special right from the very beginning. I'm so glad to be in your family, mom. And in God's family too!

Parent: Son, you're a credit to us. Come and ask any time you want to see more photos of babies before they are born.

End of conversation.

Now, of course I have nothing against teaching our kids to value life right from the very beginning. And I hope we've always done that. But I think that this book was kind of missing the point. Don't you think?

This is the book we ended up with. It just says things as they are.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Driscoll and church planting funding

Look, I love Mark Driscoll as much as the next person (and have probably listened to more MD sermons than most) but I think some of his advice is contradictory.

Craig (here) talks about how Driscoll is against giving hand outs to church planters. They should support themselves until they have a congregation who will pay them. Fair enough. But he also says:
  • Church planters must prove themselves in their own homes first, by getting married and having kids
  • Husbands should not send their wives out to work to feed the family. He said that in the early days of Mars Hill he did wrong by his wife in this.
  • Husbands should be present in family life

Not sure how these all fit together. Perhaps church planters are a special breed of men who are able to work two full time jobs and still be good fathers and husbands.

I think I'd be more in favour of some kind of sliding scale outside funding. 100% year 1, 50% year 2, 10% year 3.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A theological question

Help me out.

Can you spot any problems with this verse?

The lion roars! Oh nations will you heed the warning
Before in judgement stubborn hearts are torn?
For every knee will bow and every tongue will worship
Flee to his side find shelter from the storm.

[from the lion roars (posted below)]

How about line 3? I'm thinking Philippians 2 "...every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord." But can we say that everyone will worship Jesus? I think the line is okay* - since on that last day everyone will have to bow (some under compulsion). Is worship something that one can be forced to do?

I'd make it easier and just change the line to 'confess him', but 'confess' is an ugly word and 'worship' is beautiful...

What do you think? Appreciate ideas. Hoping to debut this song soon. It's already got a tune.

* well I wrote it!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Madam's gone


Oh well.

The Lion Roars

We're about to start a sermon series on Amos. This lyric was inspired by Amos 3:8. The book of Amos is pretty bleak - 99% judgement. Hope only comes in the last 2 verses. Alas, no-one would sing a song like that (except maybe Gordon) so I ventured away from Amos for 3 of the verses.

What do you think?

The Lion Roars

The lion roars and light dispels the reign of darkness
From chaos order's issued by his plan
A world is born, she cries in joy, her Lord adoring
The stars, the earth, all creatures, every man.

The lion roars! Creator enters his creation
The oceans bow, the rocks, the rivers sing
The Lord of all is here, he shares our pain and burdens
But guilty hearts mock, crucify their king.

The lion roars! The cords of death too weak to hold him
Ascended high he reigns forever more
He calls his people draws us near to him in mercy
Our future certain, our forgiveness sure.

The lion roars! Oh nations will you heed the warning
Before in judgement stubborn hearts are torn?
For every knee will bow and every tongue will worship
Flee to his side find shelter from the storm.

SAR 2008

Idol replay

Hey look! You can watch all the songs from last night here. Save time - watch them all in 16 minutes.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Idol Review

ABBA night. Much more interesting than last week.

Chrislyn - Mamma Mia
The least convincing I've heard her so far. Didn't seem like so much fun. Her voice was too yelley. Not nice to listen to. C+

Sophie - Gimme Gimme Gimme
First time I've really liked her. Good arrangement. B+

Thanh - The winner takes it all
I've always liked Thanh but tonight he was fantastic. Would have liked to see him out from behind the piano - by the end he wasn't really playing - but it was near perfect. A+

Roshani - Money Money Money
Very cabaret. She sings so well but still I don't care. B+ (Would have been an A if it had done anything for me.)

Wes - Fernando
Wierd chords. I'd like to hear it again. I could listen to this guy all day. A

Mark - Waterloo
He looks like one of the personal trainers at my gym. Nice tones in his voice but I'd rather see him pump weights than ever sing that again. C

Madam - Dancing Queen
Perhaps its the style but she seems to sit just below the note. A few nice moments but I wasn't convinced. B-

Teale - Thank you for the Music
I wasn't thankful. But if I appreciated a country twang I might be. B

Luke - Knowing Me, Knowing You
Dark! Bit karaoke still. C+

Best performances - Thanh and Wes. Bottom three - Mark, Luke and Chrislyn.

What did you think?

Why I love NOT having daylight savings

Many of you southerners think that we Queenslanders are behind the times because we do not put our clocks an hour forward in the summer months.

For the record, let me say that I love NOT having daylight savings time. Here's why.

  • I love that it's easy to get out of bed in summer. I wake up naturally at 5.15 and have time to do some jobs and hang the washing before I go to the gym at 6am. In winter I need to set my alarm, drag myself out of bed and drive in the dark.
  • I don't like putting the kids to bed while it's still light.
  • DLS time actually makes people stay at work for longer. You don't feel it's as late as it is so you keep on working. This is why governments instituted it in the first place (so I've heard).
  • Queensland is a big state. Up north it is hot. Really hot. People escaping to their air conditioned offices do not want an extra hour of sunlight and extreme heat after work in the afternoon. Much better to finish work at the equivalent of 5pm than 4pm. North Queenslanders look forward to it getting dark. DLS will never be good for them.
BTW. Some people say that Qlders are just worried about their curtains fading. This is not my concern. I have blinds.

Anyone else passionate?

UPDATE: Just re-read this. I sound a bit red-neck. I'm not, really. I'm not anti-south either. I loved living in Sydney. Brisbane is better, though!

silent valentine

Let me say from the start that there is very little original work about this poem. I copied the secret valentine idea and it's just a standard iambic abab 12 liner. But it was quick and fun to write. Sorry that it's not February. If I was more patient I'd hold it till then.

Silent Valentine

This year I send you for a valentine
no words of love, written, uttered, purred
for in case I ever change my mind
this silver silent service is preferred.
I leave no clues or evidence behind
no telltale fingerprints on glasses blurred
and yet I'll wrap your heart up in a bind
with sentiments unspoken, words unheard.
A blind man will still feel the warm sun shine
The deaf will sense the flutter of a bird,
I send to you this silent valentine
that speaks a volume though it says no word.

sar 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

i hate shopping

How is it that in an entire shopping center I could not find one article of clothing that I wanted to buy? Am I just bad at looking?

Is it just me...

Or does anyone else find this funny?

(in case you can't read it - Author is Michael Bird)