Cook is the right recipe


Good news today on the Freo front with Cookie being resigned for another 12 months. Having actually shook the great mans hand, and bought him a beer, I can tell you, he is one player that you would not want to be bumped by.
At a scratch match last year, when there was only about 300 people at the ground, I could hear the thump as Cook slammed an opposition Western Bulldongs player to the ground. Normally during a game you cant hear these things. But that whack by Cook was sufficient to guarantee a healthy dab of Epsom on the other shoulders. This from the Dockers website,

Recognised as one of the toughest players in the competition, his ferocious attack on the ball made him an instant fan favourite and valuable team contributor at Fremantle.

Cook has set the defensive standard for Fremantle where he has led the club’s tackling in five of his six seasons including 2005 where he had 87 tackles at 4.35 a game

Hillsong named most incarnational church in OZ


Alright, so the naming is only by me, and the title is just to stir some emergent types up, but seriously, browse their web site! Hillsong Services

This reinforces the recent ‘Australian Story’ episode when they talked of how many community activities the Church is involved in.
Having attended their national conference on and off for the past 6 years I have noticed how Hillsong Church is becoming increasingly socially aware, of their responsibilities, and of the needs of Australian Society. In fact if I really wanted to be frank, I would say that in my opinion they are being far more effective at being incarnational, that any other organisation in Australia.
Sure they have their issues, but who doesn’t? I know my church and my life is not perfect. But kudo’s where they are due I reckon.

The Bedford Bus


Well, its taken me about a week to formulate this in my mind,
but we have seen more first time conversions at Bedford Baptist in the last 12 months that in the whole first 10 years of my ministry.
We have also said some very sad goodbyes to some dear folk who have been at the church for a long time. If you are one of those folk, please don’t take offence at this, I have just been wondering aloud what is going on.

I do know this, the quality and creativity being displayed in our morning services and other ministries had gone through the roof. Thanks to the efforts of my Associate, the members of the Ministry Team and the freedom and empowerment being given to the Church by the Leadership team, things are humming along nicely. We reached in a significant way over 250 people at out Spring Fair. In a fortnights time we are having a party for our Sunday morning service. Now some may say every Sunday should be a party, but we are having balloons and streamers and hot dogs at this one! God’s Party

On November 20th we are having a Baptismal service with 3 wonderful people getting Baptised. I am so excited and joyful about what God is doing in this small part of His vineyard.

If you are part of our Church Community, jump on the Bedford Bus, its pulling out of the station!!

Spring Fair, Church and Church Together


Full on weekend.
Both physically emotionally and spiritually drained, with lots to think about.
On Saturday Melinda and I were getting our house ready to sell, and madly getting ready for the Bedford Baptist Spring fair. What a huge success. Organisationally a massive amount of work, and kudos to the chief organiser, who is pictured on stage here.
Aproximately 250-300 people came around to buy an old toaster, purchase a coffee and cake for $2, have a back massage or watch their child pat a pig. This is a 2nd stage event for us. A way to connect even further those who have been attending our Toddler Jam program to the Church Community. We gave out about 100 show bags with lollies, colouring in and information about the Church Communities activities. An unqualified success.
Sunday morning at Church was good, we served up the left over sausage sizzle to the crowd, and they seemed to enjoy my message on telling the truth in love. We also heard about some inspiring Prison Ministry some people form our Church have been involved in and the kids were led in a song from the Congo, from a refugee who is fellowshipping with us.

Sunday night was awesome too. Church Together brought about 18 000 people together for a time of worship and inspiration. Wayne Cordeiro was a humorous and appropriate speaker for the event, especially for the pre-Christians. I might have preferred more of a challenge, but that probably says more about me, than what was appropriate. So well done to all those involved!

On reflection, the most purposeful and best thing I did all weekend was talking to a number of people at the Spring Fair. Intentionally seeking them out and trying to make friends. Being a Pastor is tricky, because many people see you as being representative of the church. You never leave the job. But I loved being there and seeing the community come together, at what was essentially a Church event. Awesome and what the church should be doing.

The Christianisation of culture


God sure is big in the good old USA. Some time ago there was a controversy over Starbucks putting new age and pro homosexual slogans on their coffee cups. Now Rick Warren (purpose driven life) has his mug on the mug (lets hope its been supersized!) along with one of his sayings. Now I am a RW devotee, his books are required reading as far as I am concerned. But this article I am giving you a link to talks about such things as John 3.16 being sewed onto garments, and bible verses printed on burger wrappers. in my view its great that RW has had such a influential impact on culture that his sayings can be put on the side of a coffee cup. But I struggle with ‘Jesus Junk” or the dumbing down of the Christian message. Mission is our priority, sharing the love of Christ, helping people discover abundant life. Is what some folk doing a good thing, or actually detrimental to the advancement of the Kingdom? Should the drive through attendant ask, “would you like a copy of the 4 spiritual laws with that bacon double cheeseburger?”

Christians are the worst and best ads for Christ

After sharing lunch with a few Pastors, who will remain nameless, I have come to the conclusion that Churches can be fairly brutal places. I hate to say it, but we Christians can be pretty awful to each other. Pastors can be awful to their church folk, and Church folk can treat their Pastor pretty shoddily as well. I know I am a Pastor, and therefore have my own perspective on this issue. This obviously colours my thinking. Let me also say that I thank God for my supportive and loving church. Its not always an easy job, and people in my Church are good to me. But my heart aches when I hear stories of how we let interpersonal conflict stall, delay or destroy what God wants to do through us.
What do non church people think when they stand back and watch us fight each other?

Seriously, God only gives most of us about 80 years. Dont waste it in trying to argue or fight your way through life. Instead pour that energy into mission, into reaching people who don’t know Jesus yet.

The following story is a sobering reminder of this.

“PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. – A church pastor called deputies to remove 16 congregants who refused to stop singing as he tried to begin his sermon, according to a sheriff’s report.

Pastor David Noel reported a disturbance at the Bethanie Seventh-day Adventist Church to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office when the group would not allow the Saturday morning service to continue.

All 16 church members were issued trespass warnings and left the property without incident, according to a sheriff’s report.

One congregant who received a warning said the group was protesting Noel’s leadership and alleged misuse of insurance money for damage to the church caused by Hurricane Charley.

“We received $364,000, but he told us we only got $264,000 because he wanted to give $100,000 to another church in Fort Myers,” Monique Robert said Monday. “But this money is for Bethanie. We want all the money for our church.”

Another congregant, Edourd A. Pierrelus, alleged that Noel struck his chest and twisted his left earlobe during an Oct. 1 meeting to elect new church board members.

“Many things are wrong in the church,” Pierrelus told deputies Saturday. “We don’t want him to be the pastor.”

Noel declined to comment to reporters Monday.

“I don’t have much to tell you, just that we are preaching the word here,” he said.

Milton Sterling, ministerial director for the Southeastern Conference governing the region’s Adventist congregations, said church officials were investigating the incidents.

Robert said she and the other 15 congregants who received warnings will attend a different church service this Saturday.”

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15.4,5