Friday, November 11, 2011


Anyone who knows me well would agree that changes to the amount and style of hair on my head are few and far between. Once I get into a habit, it tends not to change for some time. And then, suddenly, I'll decide it's time for something different and without warning, spring it on the world.

I may have just done that again.

I've had a small Van Dyck-style beard for a few years, but I decided that I wanted to try something different. And what better time to do it than Movember?

Angry face - Day 0!
Movember aims to raise support and awareness for mens' health issues, particularly depression and prostate cancer. Both of these issues aren't seen as "manly" things to talk about, so I think the association with facial hair (seriously, how hard do you have to work to make a beard/moustache unmanly) is a good way of breaking the ice.

I haven't yet decided what style I'll end up with by November 30 - any suggestions? And if you'd like to get on board and support me, you can do so over at my "MoSpace" page :D

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Digital distractions: The Murderer

A while back I posted about my growing frustration with the constant distractions I allowed myself to deflected by. I'm still mulling over about what my response should be; I've taken some small steps, and I hope to share those another time.

In the meantime, have a listen to this short story by sci-fi author Ray Bradbury, called The Murderer.

In it, a psychologist examines a man who's had enough, and decided to take matters into his own hands…

The Murderer [MP3] (9MB, ~15 minutes) - (opens in a new window/tab)

Friday, September 9, 2011


I'll never forget the angel
  flying down with cleansing fire
fire too hot to touch.

My lips may be clean
  but still there are times
   when the scars smoulder with the memory.

And so on I go
  your searing stamp of approval
   the agony and the ecstasy
 a reminder that YHWH is Salvation…

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Others on digital distractions…

Since posting about feeling endlessly distracted by machines, technology and up-to-the-nanosecond information, it seems I'm not alone. Mark Colvin (one of my favourite Australian journalists) broadcast a great interview with William Powers, author of the book Hamlet's Blackberry.

It's a fascinating interview, and sounds like a really good read.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Preaching to the choir of selves

I talk a lotta talk but I don't
walk a lotta walk,
I try to live to please You but I
just can't shake the awk..ward..

voice that nags and says "You know what?
maybe take your eyes off you;
fix 'em firmly back on Jesus and
remember…He loves you."

"He loves you when the going's good, when
all things come up Milhouse,
and just as much when things are grey,
and all you feel is s—house!"

"He knows you want to please Him
so remember that you do!
Now get out of your self-right funk
and go love others too…"

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sorry, I was miles away…

"Blinded by distractions,
lost in matter-less affairs…"
— dc Talk, "Day By Day"

Recently while sitting on a train, a largely unremarkable thing happened – so unremarkable it gave me pause for thought. What was this non-event?

I got a new PB in Bejeweled Blitz. Not just any Personal Best: I cracked the half-million mark (and beat my previous best by over 150,000)! I enjoyed the quick squirt of adrenaline as it shot through my body, and then I thought: "Huh."

For a while now I've become increasingly frustrated and annoyed at the way the Internet and smart phones have trained my attention patterns — the classic Gen-Y dance I call "The Context-Switch One-Step". Take your electronic distraction generator in one hand, drop your head slightly, place earphones in ears, and away we go, with a one-two-three, one-two-three, facebook-check, twitter-feeds, email-check, one-more-game, when's-that-tram, one-two-three…


Such constant "engagement" (from pellet-popping to drinking from the firehose) has made it very hard for my brain to either 1) switch off or 2) give undivided attention to just one thing. Sometimes this is a benefit, but mostly, it just leaves me distracted and not at rest.

This spills out into all sorts of areas; why bother taking the time to cook a healthy meal when "fast food" slips into the cycle more easily? Or learning a new skill? Or making any time investment at all?

But the place where rubber hits road for me the hardest is spending time with God — how can I be still when everything in my mind screams "hurry, hurry, faster, more!" How can I spend time meditating on a chunk of connected verses, when they seem to meld into a stream of 140-character morsels right before my eyes?

Aldous Huxley would be horrified…

Monday, August 1, 2011

A curious beast

Here a Rum-tum-tugg-o-war
A NY state of mind,
A yin & yang of fear defined
by pride and self-obsess galore…

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Saturday morning

Sunlight streaming through my window/
urging me to go and do/
all I want is/
for the world to/
shove off
for a-
while and
let me

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Voice, Part 3

"Trust Me with all your heart," You said.
"Why?" I thought, repulsed.

"Don't rely on your own perspective," You said —
but that made no sense at all.

"Wherever you go, realize I'm there, working," You said.
"What have you ever done for me?" I retorted.

"I'll tell you where to go," You said.
And I thought "I'm sure you will!"

There was silence for a few seconds, as You quizzically raised an eyebrow to say "Really? Not even you believe that!"

*sigh*You were right, as usual.

And then You leaned over, gave me a hug, and said "Come on, let's go this way…"

(Proverbs 3:5,6; Malachi1:2a)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Prodigal brothers in arms

"Are we so different?"
younger brother calls to elder.
"We both know the old dodderer
means well, but you've got to
admit He's a bit misguided.
We've got brains, we've got time -
let's go, see what we can do!"

"Are you kidding?!"
rejoined the elder.
"We have a real base here! It's true
the Old Man is a bit tiresome, but
this farm's a solid investment!
Soon He'll die, and we can run things
the way they should be done! Or at least
not pretend so much…"

So the younger ran out one way
and threw away his lot, while
the other toiled and strained and
worked long years on
his share of the plot.

And all the while the Father grieved
for the day His two lost sons would
come back to His heart, and Home.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

like a child…

"Don't worry, Dad, I'm a big kid now!" exclaimed the lad, straining under the weight of a big box of this-and-that. His Father smiled knowingly to Himself. The more he changed, the more he seemed to stay the same. "But he is growing," He said to himself. "And becoming more like his Brother every day."
And then there was a crash and a cry from down the hall, and the Father rushed to clean up the newly-created mess of boy and bric-à-brac.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Keep turning the pages…

When she had got to the third page [of another story] and come to the end, she said, "That is the loveliest story I've ever read or ever shall read in my whole life. Oh, I wish I could have gone on reading it for ten years. At least I'll read it over again."
But here part of the magic of the Book came into play. You couldn't turn back. The right-hand pages, the ones ahead, could be turned; the left-hand pages could not.
... "It was about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill, I know that much. But I can't remember, and what shall I do?"'
--C.S. Lewis, "Voyage of the Dawn Treader"

Monday, April 25, 2011

Voice, Part 2

"Be still", the Voice said.
What did I have to lose?
So I tried it and…

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

On the cooling of the weather…

Winter time draws near / Seasonal Affective Dis-/ Orders me about

From Twitter, as I sat on a tram...

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Voice, Part 1

"Be still," the Voice said.
"Be still? Are you kidding?" I thought.

I've got to get my
my views opined
doctrines aligned
vices maligned
sins disinclined

My style designed
life plan outlined
hobbies defined
a wife to find
that You've assigned somewhere, presumably

and bear in mind
I've got the daily grind
sucks out the zest, the lemon rind
of life that comes and perks the mind

and all of these combined
just serve to take my bind
and wind it up
so this is why like most mankind
I'm disinclined
to lie inclined
and listen to
Your still, small Voice.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sin & its aftermath

I love it when one stumbles across a gem. I found the Tenth Leper blog through a friend because of the recent Rob Bell unpleasantness, but I've kept him in my feeds now that his reviews are done because I really like the stuff he has to say. Take this from today's post:

I think some of Satan’s biggest victories against us are not in his getting us to commit a particular sin, but in increasing our guilt over it. It’s like that old proverb: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Similarly, get a man to sin and you’ll separate him from God for a moment. But get a man to feel guilty, and you’ll separate him from God forever. Guilt causes us to believe that God doesn’t want us, that his arms aren’t open to us, that his attention can’t be grabbed except by maybe extreme effort. It causes us to believe that we’re damaged goods and that God couldn’t possibly still want us.

I don’t think it’s too bold to say that the moments after sin can be more dangerous than the moments before it. How you respond to sin is so important. Will you move further away from your only source of life and help as a result of it? Or will you move closer to him? We need to preach the Gospel to ourselves every day because we sin every day, and the more we sin, the more we’re reminded that on our own we have absolutely no right to speak with God. But we need to let that drive us to Jesus as our only right to be in the presence of God. Jesus killed sin’s guilt. And because there’s no longer any guilt or condemnation for God’s children, then sin’s power begins to diminish in their lives, because they’re confidently running to their Father for strength.

Where do you run?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Slice of Heaven

No, not the song!

I went for a bike ride on Friday night; no reason, I just felt like upping and heading onto the road. I turned off Wellington Parade into Yarra Park, cruising past the MCG when a bridge caught my eye. The bridge takes its pedestrian passengers over the Jolimont railway lines and across into Birrarung Marr. I imagine that it's a well-known route, but I'd never been over it, so I rode towards it and decided to stop at the top to enjoy the view.

While I was sitting there on a bench, I was treated to an amazing aural experience. There are speakers embedded in the walls of the bridge, and they were playing an intoxicating mix of folk music from all different cultures. I sat entranced at the sensory spectacle; the beautiful city lights of Melbourne in front of me, the glow of the 'G behind me, the yellow lights on the bridge giving an other-worldly light to my surroundings, and the music of different cultures blending in sweet cacophony over the rumble of the trains passing underneath.

It occurred to me that this was a little taste of what Heaven will be like - the music, rhythm, language and expression of every tribe, nation, culture, all gathered together in joyous expression of praise to God. And while I can't wait for that day to come (and come quick, Lord Jesus!) I'm really grateful for little sneak peaks like this :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The flip-side of community

Over at my new friend Kim's blog Just Add Tea, she recently shared some things she'd been learning about community:

[Citing an article] [I]t's what followed that struck me most: "Somewhere along the lines we have lost the concept of true community and our lives are now focused purely on ourselves, our needs and those in our circle of close friends and family. We rarely give any time to those outside the circle unless it's convenient for us. (Oh the pain and shame, as I just saw me in this reality.) We don't like to be inconvenienced. But how can we help people if we are never prepared to be inconvenienced? How can we help people if we are never prepared to be uncomfortable?"

Since I've got back from overseas, I've been forced to think about the flip-side of that coin. Pride is a funny sin; it seems to be able to take over both sides. I love helping people; I'm a people person, and I get great personal joy & satisfaction from getting alongside others and pulling with them to get something done. But I'm a terrible people-pleaser too; the idea of letting somebody down terrifies me (although more on that in a second).

This came to a head for me when I tried to do everything I had been doing after a draining month of travel. I survived a week and a half, then crunched into a wall when I realised I simply couldn't keep doing all the things I'd been doing.

What to do? Who to say "Sorry, but I can't" to? I HATE saying no to people! What will they think of me? Ah, ahhh. There's the rub. There's pride, poking its face around the corner. Pride, telling me that what people think of me is actually the most important reason to serve. How twisted *bah*

I'm learning to rest; hopefully there'll be another post about that soon. But how does this relate to Kim's reflections above?

Well, I'm realising the corollary to Kim's point. Just as truly being part of a community means letting yourself be inconvenienced in order to love others, you must also let others inconvenience themselves (or be inconvenienced) in order to love you. To fail to do so is just another way that pride creeps in and taints our lives.

So here's to repentance. Here's to being humble enough to say no. To being humble enough to let someone else help carry your burdens when things are heavy. To bearing each other's burdens, and so fulfilling the love of Christ. To the community of God's family :)

Photo: A helping hand by Forest Runner on flickr. Used under Creative Commons :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Of the notching of pointless milestones there is no end…

Just noticed that over at I'd notched up 33,333 song listens. Who cares. Here is the 33,333rd song I scrobbled. It's kind of fitting, as I've really enjoyed this song again of late :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Bourj Al-Barajneh: A lament

New year, new poem! Wrote this after coming back from a trip to the Middle East. Spent some time with people I barely knew (but now consider good friends) tooling around sightseeing and attempting to be make the world a better place. We did do some openly Christian stuff, but some of the images that stuck the most closely to me are from time we spent in a Palestinian refugee camp in Bourj Al-Barajneh, Beirut. There's a great NGO called the Inma Foundation we were able to volunteer with; painting, cleaning, and decorating their centre within the camp. Check them out. I could try and spend words and words and words explaining the plight of these refugees – but maybe you need to go educate yourself as well :). Too many words, not enough poetry!

I saw a truck driving through Bourj Al-Barajneh Camp
It carried a load of rubble
And a set of keys to a dream
that will never be realised.

I saw a man walking through Bourj Al-Barajneh Camp
His body wasn't staying still
But his soul was firmly stuck
in that box of concrete, wires and despair.

I saw children playing in Bourj Al-Barajneh Camp
They weren't running, excited,
Full of joy and light because
They didn't know they were allowed.

I saw a Son of Man in Bourj Al-Barajneh Camp
He said He had plans for His children,
For a hope and for a future.
I'm glad Somebody does at least.

Customary apology for lack of posts

I've not really posted for a while; I guess this isn't exactly the most exciting thing I try and do. Life is too full of interacting with people so I keep forgetting to come here and gush whatever's on my mind. But whatever. Maybe more this year. Maybe.