ICSF Leadership Conference

Being a Christian at school is tough, even more so at a public state school. One way to be encouraged at school is to be part of a lunchtime ISCF (Inter-School Christian Fellowship) group.

I’m going to be leading on a conference in the first week of these upcoming holidays. We want to train up leaders for our schools. Student lunchtime groups work best when the crew step up and lead.

I work at Barrenjoey High and we have a lunchtime group called Chips and Jesus. I would love to have some solid crew for leadership but we are still a year or two away from that happening. But I want to start setting up some of the crew there to see their leadership potential. Therefore I’m looking forward to seeing other student leaders in action and to learn from them on this week away.

If you are reading this I want to encourage you to do two things:

  • Pray for the week.
  • Tell anyone in year 9-12 who should come to come.
For more deets check out the SU site here.
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The Proxy Café

I’m excited about this Friday! We are hosting a music event at our church for the youth community to be part of.

The Proxy Café is a place for the youth of the peninsular to come and enjoy local talent in a relaxed setting. We want to represent (hence proxy) the local creative community and also the local Christian community and partner together to support them and give the opportunity for young people to share their God given gifts.

This first event is a bit of a test for the idea and hopefully we can further develop the idea into a regular event and partnership.

The details:

8:00-10:30 June 17 2011 (this Friday)
@ Keen Hall (1 Kevin Ave, Avalon).
$5 entry fee.

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Music Monday: Joe Day

I enjoy music, but sometimes I don’t enjoy music when I’m at church, this isn’t because the band is bad, but often because the songs are boring musically. I know I could start a whole debate on worship wars and that’s not my intention in this post.

Joe Day (52 Songs guy) from Mars Hill Church in seattle has produced an album, Grace, that I personally enjoy. It is musically interesting and theologically dense, with many songs being old school hymns, and while I admit that performing these songs may not work within some congregations, it does well to push the envelope of what we consider to be ‘worship’ songs.

My favourite song on the album would have to be the opening track, Death to Life. It is a poignant reminder of how Jesus has saved us from death and given us life. As dead people we are unable to save ourselves and need a saviour to bring us life. This is all by grace.

The other reason I want to share is that you can get it for free from Noisetrade. You cant get much better than free and if you don’t like it you only got what you paid for!

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Technology and Social Media

In the last week I have spent some extra time considering the role of technology and social media in our culture.

Part of this started after seeing the documentary Catfish (I don’t wish to spoil it if you haven’t seen it) which highlighted the issues that social media can raise.

Mark Sayers has also posted some recent musings over at his blog about social interation online and how Christians should use it.

In addition to this Tim Challies is about to release a book about technology, below is the trailer for his book. It is very thought provoking.

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Music Monday: 52 Songs

One of the worship pastors at Mars Hill, Joe Day, has set himself the task of writing a song a week this year. Quite ambitious if you ask me. But it’s good to hear what he has come up with and the way he also talks about the creative process of writing them.

Check them out at One Year, 52 Songs. The last one he wrote was for Valentines Day. How sweet.

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Music Monday: Destructor

Destructor: Ever since I first heard this song over 4 years ago I have loved it.

The latest version of this Mars Hill original has had a revamp and a slight lyric change. The reason I enjoy this song so much is that it sings of a subject we rarely do when at church; at least in a direct way. We rarely sing of God’s judgement in such obvious terms, but the whole mood of the song captures it so well. The subject of judgement is such that people are often nervous to speak about it, so to sing so candidly of it would be tough for some. That said I reckon I would want to give it a go at church sometime

One of the issues in the past was one of the lines in the first verse:

To the way that you hated your son

I always felt a little bit uncomfortable about this line, but this new version has changed that line and made it much better theologically. It now reads:

To the weight that you placed on your son

A much tighter statement of Jesus’ propitiatory work on the cross, taking the weight of God’s wrath upon sin on himself.

So check the song out, its free and check out some of the other songs they have to offer too.

Below are the lyrics in full.

From the first time you flooded the earth
To the last time you burned off the curse
To the weight that you placed on your Son
When he hung all the sin of the world

In reverence we come to your throne
Indebted to your holy Son
The ripe vine of the earth will be crushed
And your light will shine over the world

Heaven will disappear with a roar
Hosts of God will come to destroy
Sin is a declaration of war
God will have his glory one way or another

Who will not fear you oh Lord?
Just and true are your ways
Every nation will come
And glorify your name in the world

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Haiti: Churches helping Churches

While we are all shocked right now at the severity of the Queensland floods, today is the 1 year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake.

I want to support our fellow citizens in Queensland but also want to support those who have no decent infrustructure to rely on and are feeling the effects of corruption. I’ve heard that much of the support that was pledged for Haiti has not been followed up and received, especially from other national governments.

One organisation that I want to promote and support for their work in Haiti is Churches Helping Churches. One of the resons I wish to suppot them is the way they are planning to use the money in the country. In an article on how they are and aren’t giving money they explain how they are teaching the local Haitians to own their infrastructure rebuilding process and not just receive free handouts that are not well used.

One key, experts have said, to Haiti’s recovery, would be for the international community to not blindly pour money into a country that would not be able to properly channel it into infrastructure development; The key would be for Haitians to own and implementthis recovery.

The whole article is worth a read to see how they are working through the church not just to erect buildings but to create growing and supportive church communities. The church is the people not the building.

I want to leave you with their latest video update. Please consider how to support the Haitians one year on from the disaster that affected them and also pray for the churches there. With this in mind pray also for the Queensland floods and how you will support these people too.

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Music Monday: post harbour.

Have discovered an awesome band from Seattle recently, yet giving me another reason for me wanting to return.

post harbour. are a post rock/experimental/ambient band with bits of Sigur Ros combined with Modest Mouse and Okkervil River.

Their album praenumbra is brilliant. I love the way songs build and flow, moving from the ambient to the ecstatic.

I am yet to sample their latest offering, but will be keen to grab hold of it soon.

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Some to be Shepherds

Earlier this week I was down at the lovely Port Hacking for the Youthworks Youth Ministry Conference.

The theme of the conference was ‘Some to be Shepherds’ and I was greatly encouraged to follow the first and greatest shepherd Jesus.

One of the great aspects of the conference was that I went residential (i.e. we stayed overnight together). This allowed for some great time of fellowship and discussion about theology, ministry and life. I found this to be the most valuable part of the conference and would highly recommend others to attend in the future.

My friend Nathan has also given his review and adds some useful points and summaries that I will not repeat here.

One thing that I came away with was a real sense to assess my own life and repent of my idolatry and sinfulness that is massively inflenced by the culture that I live in. I want to help people smash the idols in their lives so that they can see the cross clearly but I need to do that in my own life first.

So for me here are three that hit me straight away:

  • Comfort/Security
  • Sport
  • Image
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It Is Finished

So my days at Moore College as an undergrad have come to an end.

I finished my last exam yesterday, and it feels good to be done. Formal study isn’t really my thing. But I have learnt so much in my time at college. When I think back to when I started college at the ripe old age of 23 and what I knew and how I lived, I see how God has shaped me over the last four years.

If you are thinking about studying God’s way in a formal way, I would high recommend doing it at Moore. And here are 3 reasons why:

  1. You will be stretched in your thinking by humble but God gifted faculty
  2. You will be encouraged to live like Jesus within Gospel centred community
  3. You will have fun being in Newtown. It’s great.

I’m sure I could think of other things but it just isn’t happening.

Interestingly I started this blog just before I headed to college as a way to reflect on what I learnt (looking back I talked a lot about football and surf in the first few years). So here’s my TOP 5 posts about college.

  1. Anxiety series (this is the last post)
  2. Sleeping Like a Calvinist
  3. Josiah
  4. Julian
  5. College and Change (First college post)
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