Saturday, July 28, 2012

Flourish workshop 3: NFA

Please answer these questions with a number from 1-9.
1.Very Strongly Disagree
2. Strongly Disagree
3. Disagree
4. Mildly Disagree
5. Neither Agree nor Disagree
6. Mildly Agree
7. Agree
8. Strongly Agree
9. Very Strongly Agree
1. I am good at empathizing with other people’s problems. ____
2. I make decisions with my heart. ____
3. I often get too emotionally involved. ___
4. I appreciate opportunities to discover my true feelings. ____
5. I like being around sensitive people. ___ 
6. My feelings reflect who I am. ____
7. I am a feeling person. ____
8. I am more a “feeler” than a “thinker”. ____
9. When I recall a situation, I usually recall the emotional aspects of the situations. ____
10. I prefer a task that is emotional and important to a task that is intellectual and important. ____
11. Feeling comes naturally to me. ____
12. I enjoy trying to explain my feelings-even if it’s only to myself. ____
13. Emotion excites me. ____

Add up the numbers to get your
NFA Score :  ______
I'll tell you what all of this is about in another post.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Flourish 2 - NFC

A questionnaire.

Please answer these questions with a number from 1-9.
1.Very Strongly Disagree
2. Strongly Disagree
3. Disagree
4. Mildly Disagree
5. Neither Agree nor Disagree
6. Mildly Agree
7. Agree
8. Strongly Agree
9. Very Strongly Agree

Write down your answer for these 18 questions. Scoring key below.

1. I would prefer complex to simple problems. ____

2. I like to have the responsibility of handling a situation that requires a lot of thinking. ____

3. Thinking is not my idea of fun.* ___

4. I would rather do something that requires little thought than something that is sure to challenge my thinking abilities.* ____

5. I try to anticipate and avoid situations where there is likely a chance I will have to think in depth about something.* ___

6. I find satisfaction in deliberating hard and for long hours. ____

7. I only think as hard as I have to.* ___

8. I like tasks that require little thought once I’ve learned them.* ____

9. The idea of relying on thought to make my way to the top appeals to me. ____

10. I really enjoy a task that involves coming up with new solutions to problems. ____

11. Learning new ways to think doesn’t excite me very much.* ____

12. I prefer my life to be filled with puzzles that I must solve. ____

13. The notion of thinking abstractly is appealing to me. ____

14. I would prefer a task that is intellectual, difficult, and important to one that is somewhat important but does not require much thought. ____

15. I feel relief rather than satisfaction after completing a task that required a lot of mental effort.* ____

16. It’s enough for me that something gets the job done; I don’t care how or why it works.* ____

17. I usually end up deliberating about issues even when they do not affect me personally. ____

18. I prefer to think about small, daily projects to long-term ones.* ____

9 of these items - those with an **asterix** - are reverse scored. You need to adjust your answers. If you had 1, change it to 9. If you had 9, change it to 1. If you had 2, change it to 8. Similarly with 3 and 7, and 4 and 6. Leave your 5s as 5s.

Now add up your answers. And write down you score.

NFC Score : ________

Flourish workshop 1: Hosanna

Listen to this song.

What do you think? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

Tell me in the comments.

Flourish workshop done.

It was heaps of fun.

I'm going to run it again, right here for you, blog friends.

Read the posts in order for best result.

And please comment.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Four hour long staff meeting...

We had a lady come in to do a Myers-Briggs assessment on us all.

All good fun. Four hours of being self obsessed.

No surprises. Very clear ENTP.

It was fun seeing what everyone else was.

But tell me, introverts, when you are standing by yourself at a work social thing, trying to hide behind your glass, do you want me to come and talk to you? The woman leading the session said that you are probably happy by yourself and you'd prefer to be left alone. True?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

50 shades.

I'm not reading it, but I have been looking at a very funny chapter by chapter review. I've read about 10 chapters of the review, which is about as much as my godliness can take, so I'm stopping now. But I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on the writing style, the characters, the plot line and the issues it raises.

Five thoughts on FSOG so far.
1. This is really similar to Mills and Boon, except with poorer writing and kinkier sex. Nothing to see here guys.
2. This is FanFic. So, so much is stolen from Twilight.
3. Although problematic, the BDSM thing isn't the biggest issue for me*. Bigger, I think, is the nature of the relationship. He wants to control every aspect of her life - her clothes, her finances, her food, her friends, her diary, her facial expressions... This is sick, stalker guy behaviour. Why do readers find it desirable? But I guess that there is precedence for this in popular music. What's creepy in real life is romantic when the Police sing it (Every breath you take I'll be watching you...)
4. She isn't allowed to look him in the face without permission. Who made him god? (Or does he think he's an ancient Persian king?)
5. The picture it paints of female sexuality is warped. For our heroine, sexual desire does not exist apart from him. She never felt a twinge of anything till he came along. At age 22. Huh? But this is not unusual in female fiction - Twilight, some Mills and Boon etc feature it. It makes it so that the guy owns the girl's sexuality which is yuck.

My very biggest worry is that aspects of #3, #4 and #5 might be attractive to the people on the far right of complementarianism.

* But maybe it would be if I read on.

Friday, July 20, 2012

50 Shades of Grey

Quite a fuss about it.

Anyone want to admit to having read it?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Veronica Mars - Series 1

6 discs. I just watched it in 5 days - which is pretty good going, considering that I appeared to be living a normal life. "It's okay kids. I don't mind that we've arrived early for tennis today. You go and hit the ball while you're waiting for your lesson. I'll sit here in the car. Look! I've bought my computer..."

It's fabulous television. Anyone else seen it?

Is series 2 as good?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stuart Townend is coming to Brisbane.

I spammed half our state with this email last night.


In Christ Alone 
Stuart Townend and Emu Music in Brisbane!

Dear Pastors and Christian friends,
I am writing to invite you and your congregations to hear world renowned modern hymn writer, Stuart Townend, perform at the Old Museum (Gregory Tce, Bowen Hills) on Wednesday, October 17, 2012
This is a rare opportunity to be encouraged by one of the most influential church musicians of our time. His songs, particularly How Deep The Father’s Love for Us and In Christ Alone, have taught, moved and inspired Christians across the denominations. Stuart will lead us in singing the gospel together and give us insights into his most popular songs.
As someone who loves to hear the gospel proclaimed in song, I feel that this is an opportunity not to be missed. The Old Museum Concert Hall has a strict 500 seat capacity so we advise that you book quickly to avoid disappointment. 

Event - In Christ Alone With Stuart Townend & EMU music
Date - Wednesday 17th October
Time - 7PM
Venue - The Old Museum, 460 Gregory Terrace, Bowen Hills
Cost - $27 each or $24 for groups of 10+

Bookings can be made online at
I have attached a brochure to this email. Feel free to print it out or forward it on to anyone who you think might be interested. More information about this event and about our Sydney and Melbourne concerts are available at Registrations are now open.
Please don’t hesitate to call or email me if you have any questions.

In Christ,

ps. Want a sample of Stuart Townend performing live? Listen here or here!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Andy Gullahorn sings "Workin' Man"

Gary suggested I watch this. Everyone should. It's hilarious.

songwriting with year 6....

Blow Up The Pokies was the song of the week. Needed it to balance out Adele.

Good fun talking through the issues with the kids. More group therapy.

They have now all started writing their own songs.

One group's song begins with the line 'Life is a journey'

Next week I think we'll need an anti-cliche lesson.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Flourish conference. Wanna come?


These last few months I've been pre-occupied reading up on stuff for my workshop at Flourish conference Sydney 27-28th July. I'm excited about what I've come up with.

The advertising world has put considerable resources into researching what makes us tick. They have developed scales to measure how likely we are to be moved by different things - be it facts or emotions or recommendations or associations. In my Flourish worksop, I'll be using advertising research to talk about preferences in church music and why it is that a song can appeal to one person but not the next - and what we should do about it.

If you are interested, I'd love for you to come.

Details can be found here.  I'm doing my seminar twice - Friday afternoon 3-5, and Saturday morning 10.15-12.45. There's heaps of other stuff on as well.


Friday, July 13, 2012

tax return could mean new viola soon!

I've never felt such motivation to get it in.

(Not that I have any intention of filling in the form myself!)

Viola update - one term in.

Still playing out of tune.

Still producing a sub-optimal tone

Still fudging alto clef.

Still loving it.

I'm have an excellent teacher who is very encouraging and motivating. Despite the bad sounds (which, apparently, are normal) I feel like I'm making progress. My aim is to be able to play in a community orchestra in a few years. Hanging out to buy my own viola - hopefully in the next couple of months. Perhaps the one in the picture!

neuropsych appointment #1

Joel had his first neuropsych appointment today. Next week we go back for a pile of tests.

Thanks for the advice a couple of months ago.

This is a really good way forward. Wish we had done it years ago.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adele fest at work this week

I'm having fun teaching songwriting to my six year 6 and 7 classes.

This week we listened to Adele's Set Fire To The Rain, analysed the structure (verses, choruses etc) and talked about what makes it a great song.

Out of that came a discussion about what our songs could be about. Previously, many kids had been saying they'd write songs about random nouns - a flower, a koala, a rainbow...  Here's my rule: The only people who want to hear a song about a koala (or flower, or whale, or teapot) are those under five. For the rest of us, songs need to be about people and, more particularly, about emotions. A song might seem to be about a sunrise, but it's actually about the euphoric rush I get from beauty. It may talk about an empty street, but it's actually about loneliness. The song a ten year old boy thinks is about Minecraft is actually about obsession or fear or anger (when another player griefs) or elation.

We also talked about back-stories: the situation that inspires the song. You don't have to spell it out to the listener, just use it yourself to get into the particular emotion. Adele seems to only have one back-story: I was with this guy and then we broke up and it sucks. But she takes it slightly different places in each song:
Rolling in the Deep - I was with this guy and we broke up and it sucks and I feel frustrated and disappointed because it could have been so good.
Someone like you - I was with this guy and we broke up and it sucks and I'm sad because you've moved on when I haven't.
Set Fire to the Rain - I was with this guy and we broke up and it sucks and I'm sad and angry about it.

Good times. With one class it kind of went into a group therapy session with kids telling me their own backstories of loneliness or rejection. Will be interesting to see what they come up with. Hoping for a few snippets or originality mixed in with the lyrical cliches!

on funerals.

Ever noticed how everyone always says good things about a funeral? It was lovely. It was a beautiful service.

Andrew gets more positive feedback from funerals he conducts than from anything else he does at church.

I've often wondered why this is.

Having taken part in a couple of family funerals in recent weeks, here are my thoughts.

1. People give good feedback about funerals because once they are done they are done. No one eagerly anticipates a funeral. The death part is horrible. The days post-death, organising the funeral, are stressy and tense. But we're so glad once the funeral is over! The relief that we got through it makes us enjoy it in retrospect.

2. People say good things about funerals because if the service is conducted 'well', death is put back in a box and buried. We don't have to think about it so much anymore.

3. People say good things about funerals because it feels good to cry and laugh with others. This is one of those rare situations where it's okay to be emotional. You can let it out. For those away from the centre of the loss (i.e.. those for whom the loss if sad, but not tragic), post funeral you can feel slightly high on the hormones released.


"I know that 99% of you won't repost this, but I know the 1% of you who will."

I am in the 99%.

I don't care what your cause is. It's not that I don't love aunties, sisters, brothers, daughters, friends, whoever... It's not that I'm not sympathetic towards those with bowel cancer, autism, or herpes.

It's just that I will not repost this guilt inducing, sentimental tripe.

Facebook likes are cheap.

If you care about cancer research, donate some money.

If you love your aunty, send her a card.

If you friend is in pain, go visit her and take a lasagne.

But enough with the Facebook chain letters.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Back At Work

Next time I have a grand idea like writing a musical with eleven year olds, could someone please kick me?

It would be much much much much much much more efficient to do it myself. I'm trying very hard to not too obviously edit their work, but...

Need to mould what they have written into a performable show.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Funeral Prayer

Dear Father God,
We thank you for the life of George.
Thank you for the loving family that he was born into. Thank you for sustaining them through the difficult years after his father died. Thank you for the lessons that you taught George about hard work and making do during the difficult years of the depression. Thanks for providing him with a loving wife in Millie, who bought him joy for so many years. Thank you for bringing him home safely after his time of service in the second world war, for blessing him with nine children, for gifting him to be a faithful, kind and loving father and then grandfather, and then great grandfather. We thank you for his sense of humour, his thoughtfulness, and for the long life that you gave him. Most of all we thank you for your love for him and for his faith in you, that found expression in his trustful commitment to his duties, his selfless love for Millie and his family, and his years of service to those outside his family - greeting people at the door of church, putting a seat outside his house so people could sit and rest after walking up the hill, driving the ‘oldies’ around - from Kirra-Haven - even when he himself was well over 70 himself, and for keeping an interest in others right up until the end of his life.
We pray for Ma in her grief. Please comfort her with the knowledge that she will see George again in the new world that God is making, where there will be no more tears or sadness, no more goodbyes and no more growing old and frail. Please help us all to hope in you at this time and prepare ourselves in this life for the one that is to come.
In Jesus’ name we pray.