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"DAVID MIERS is reported to be in the top 10 cage fighters in Gosford. He has some serious dish washing skills and thinks that Elizabeth Bennet is hot. Although he thinks that his wife Rowena is hotter. David works in youth ministry for a great church. Likes to: speak in third person, watch and play soccer, eat food and surf the web. He has never watched Star Wars."

Youth Ministry: Don't drag dead possums Thursday, August 31, 2006 |

Here is the headline from a story in SMH yesterday: Youth leader escapes jail for dead possum prank (h/t Michelle). The youth group leader had a bunch of youth group boys with him when they decided to drag a dead possum behind the car that he was driving. They didn't hurt the possum... it was already dead... but the family of the possum were humiliated by the abnormal funeral service. Some observations:
  • I can see the humour in this story
  • I can imagine youth group leaders I know doing this type of prank***
  • I think the Magistrate overreacts
  • People are watching Christians (including youth group leaders) wanting them to slip up
  • Why does this article about an Australian written in an Australian newspaper use the American spelling for gaol??
  • Youth group leaders need to make sure that they don't do stupid stuff ever... but particularly when they are with teenagers... it's not their name at stake but God's Holy Name.
  • I used to have an imaginary friend named Possum. He was a Possum.
***Hey Dan remember when one of your old youth group leaders dragged you behind his car??? The only difference was you were on a skateboard, you weren't a dead possum, and you had to go to hospital after falling off! (BTW - the leader wasn't me!)

Have you ever been a youth group leader? What's the stupidest thing you have done in that role?

The picture is me as a girl... quite ugly... thanks for drawing it Kelly... it's now in the bin.

John Dickson Podcast Wednesday, August 30, 2006 |

iTunes has re-done the categories section under Podcasts in the music store. This means that once again there is a Religious & Spirituality section (and even a Christianity section). Therefore we'll be encouraging listeners of our podcast to help us make an assault on the top100!!

While browsing the top100 I found a good daily podcast from FM103.2. It's called Reflection and it features a 5-10minute reflection from John Dickson each weekday. Each day is pretty much based around a chapter of one of his books. It is definitely a podcast I would encourage teenagers to listen to and a good one they can share with their non-Christian friends. Click here to find out more or click here to subscribe with iTunes... hopefully it can jump from number 3 into number 1!

While you're there check out Simon Manchester's sermons here and here.

What podcasts do you listen to?

Bible Reading Plan Tuesday, August 29, 2006 |

I started a new Bible reading plan this morning. Basically I am alternating between the NT and OT each morning. Today I started by reading a chunk of Matthew and tomorrow I plan on reading a chunk of Genesis and so on. There are 3 things that make this Bible reading different from what I've done before:
  1. I read standing up (won't fall asleep)
  2. I read out loud (avoid mental drift)
  3. I'm recording them as mp3s.
I'm recording them so that I can listen to them while driving or walking or running (probably not swimming) or whatever. The plan is to maybe have recorded the whole Bible by the end of the year??? We'll see how we go.

I think it's good to do different things when reading the Bible. Sometimes I might spend ages reflecting on a few verses. But I think it's time for the Big Picture of the whole Bible.

What do you think of my new plan?
What's your current Bible reading plan?
Never read the Bible? Check this out...

Church Planting: GO or STAY Monday, August 28, 2006 |

I think there are 2 key options for the planter of a church (this isn't from any books or anything... just observation). 1) GO and 2) STAY.

GO - with this model the church planter establishes the church and then after a short number of years (2-5?) leaves to plant another one. When they leave they either train someone up from within the church to take it over or someone external to the church is brought in to continue the ministry. This is a strong model if the planter is very good at establishing a church quickly and able to find/ a suitable person to cntinue the work. It means many people are reached if the planter can plant a church every 3 years. However, it might be quite hard on the planter and the stability of each of the churches.

STAY - with this model the planter establishes the church with the plan to stay there longer term (maybe even forever). In order for this to be effective in planting more churches and reaching more people it must be effective in sending others to keep planting churches. This model can be very effective if the planter is able to build a large church and continue to train others with the vision for church planting.

I like the stay model. I think it's more strategic. That is the model that the minister of our church has adopted and I think it means after 30 years of ministry in 1 church he will have been more effective than 30 years in 10 churches. All of this is written understanding that God is the one who gives the growth.

I've thought about this principle with regards to camps. I could keep starting more camps or I could stay leading the one camp and keep training people through it to start new camps. I think the 2nd option is better.

SERIOUS QUESTION: Where would be a good place to plant a church? Why?

ps... We had our 10 year anniversary celebration on Friday night. It was marvellous!

CCEC turns 10! Friday, August 25, 2006 |

Tonight is the Central Coast Evangelical Church (CCEC) 10th Anniversary dinner. I'm currently finishing the '10 - looking back and looking forward' video to be launched tonight. Phillip Jensen and Andrew Heard will be speaking tonight, while John Woodhouse and Will Orpwood (our 1st MTS worker who helped plant the church with Andrew) will be speaking at church on Sunday. I am thankful to God for this church. There are so many exciting things going on as people are challenged from the Word of God. Praise God for the many people who become Christians throughout the year from sitting under sound teaching and/or attending Life to the Full. I'm not sure when I became a Christian - I may have already been one when I started coming here 9 years ago - but nonetheless it was in coming to this church that I understood how the death and resurrection of Jesus ought to impact every part of my life. I look forward to the future of this church and pray that it would continue to see non-Christians come from death to life and Christians matured in Jesus. I'm also excitied about the church plants that we're a part of and look forward to more to come.

Do you go to CCEC? How are you thankful to God for our church?
If not... how are you thankful to God for your church?
If you don't go to church - check this out...

Above photo is from our youth group camp this year - click to make a bit bigger...

poddytraining - om kunsten at kaste lyd på pod'en Thursday, August 24, 2006 |

My aim is to blog once every week day... but I can't help but post again today. After our campaign with on the poddy (see here), among the bags of fan mail (thanks Ian + others) we've been receiving we received one from Denmark. She pleaded that we not Axe the show. She even did a review of us on her blog (poddytraining.blogspot.com). I like the punny title of her blog!

(click to make bigger or go to her post)

Can you read Dannish? What do you think this is saying? We can work out some bits... but the rest? We'll read out the best interpretation out on the show...

Bible verse of the day

The Poddy will be axed unless... |

...YOU go and listen to it and do what it says! We are still getting some 300+ downloads a week, but aren't sure how many people are actually listening to it.

Click to download the latest episode: Renaissance01 = The Reawakening

Do you listen?

Semi-Final this Saturday Wednesday, August 23, 2006 |

This is a tribute to Roger "I scored a goal from half-way" Guest and also an invitation to come and watch our soccer team this Saturday at 3pm Fagan's Park West Gosford. We came second so will be playing the top team. If we win we go straight into the Grand Final.

Feel free to offer any advice for our team in the comments...

Me Church Tuesday, August 22, 2006 |

(h/t to dan)

If church was all about you (btw IT ISN'T!!!) what's one thing that it would have?

Edit:Ben is a party pooper.
You can still view the video here
(YouTube link removed and screen shot is now above)

Surprise party, RICE & Mariners Monday, August 21, 2006 |

Saturday was an eventful day. I went to a surprise engagement party at 7am in the morning. The surpise was that the proposal only happened at 6:30am that morning!! Lots of fun. Good food with some good friends. Congrats Marty and Kartina!

Late morning I went to visit my sister and her husband in Newtown. That was nice and then I took my brother-in-law to RICE. (That rhymed!) He was involved in the walk-up evangelism team. RICE looks really good. I went in for about half an hour to check it out. Richard Beeston was playing some music, activities were happening all over the place and Pete Tong gave a great talk (1 of 3 during the day). The way it worked was that they had a big carnival/fete type of thing at homebush with over 1000 youth and then they will have a rally next Saturday night at Town Hall with Ray Galea speaking. It was good to get some ideas for what we could do with coast youth REVOLUTION in the future.

I raced home for a 3pm soccer match. We had to win to stay in the top 4 and won 7-0 to jump up into second! After that I went to watch the Mariners with my dad (after 1-1 they lost 5-4 on penalties... they deserved to win... but couldn't score during normal time). Enjoyed some Pizza after that and fell asleep while pretending to watch 8 Mile!

Row was away for the weekend... glad she made it home alive.
How was your Saturday?

New Website Friday, August 18, 2006 |

I made a new website today. It's for coast youth REVOLUTION. Go and check it out WWW.CYREVOLUTION.COM

For the blogheads: the interface with wordpress is slower than blogger, but if I had broadband maybe it wouldn't be a problem!

Had a look yet? What do you think?

Making the most of sport Thursday, August 17, 2006 |

More2life is the basketball team that I put together 2.5 seasons ago. At the time I was weighing up whether to bring my own team of Christian friends together or go down to the stadium and ask to be put into a team of strangers. Within a day of simply mentioning it to a couple of people at church... we had a team!! I work for a church and although I have contact with non-Christians, they are usually contacts from other people at church rather than friends of my own.

I am going to quit the team at the end of the season!!! Next season I will either go into a team that needs players at the stadium or change to a better sport... indoor soccer with a bunch of strangers.

I'd been thinking about it for a while and a conversation with Dave Sheath a couple of days ago pushed me over the line. He's a minister and plays in a basketball team and uses it as an opportunity for fitness and building friendships with non-Christians.

What do you think of my decision? Good, bad or ugly?
Which one is me in the photo? Good, bad or ugly?

Titus 3 Wednesday, August 16, 2006 |

Just got back from a conference. It was pure gold. Great to reflect on the mission of planting more churches around Australia.
4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Titus 3:4-7 (ESV)

Youth Ministry: MySpace Tuesday, August 15, 2006 |

MySpace is ugly. I think that it isn't particularly functional, the designs are ugly and cumbersome. The system for commenting is annoying. Users often talk about rubbish, but then again teenagers are the key demographic for using MySpace. I think that there are better methods of having a presence on the internet (such as blogger and wordpress). BUT... having said all this, ccecyouth has a myspace page. I made it earlier on this year before I knew of any youth group kids that had one. A couple of months ago I stumbled onto a whole bunch of them (only 29 at the moment). I don't spend much time at myspace. I will occasionally quickly peruse their pages but not much.

Why have a youth group myspace?
  • Teenagers have them - so it's a way of being present in their world
  • Teenagers often write stupid things, ungodly things - so it's good for Christians on MySpace to have some form of accountability knowing their youth leaders and friends from youth group will look at their page
  • It's a way to redirect people to our main site
  • I've encouraged our youth to put ccecyouth in their top 8 friends so that non-Christian friends will see the distinct ccecyouth logo and possibly visit our site or youth group - or at least know that their friend is happy to be associated with 'Christians'
Here is the page of a youth group for a series they did on Moses. Not a bad idea.

Do you have a MySpace? Does your church or youth ministry or organisation or band have a MySpace? Do you think it's ugly?

21AUG Update:
Article here & here (h/t Tracy) and here (h/t Josh)

24AUG Update:
Interesting article here. It talks about the link between myspace, generation Y, meaning and ministering to Gen Yers. Too many good quotes to put here (so go read it!)... but here's one: "In a media environment in which marketing is king, young people have become marketers of their own personal image and ‘brand’."

25SEP Update:
Check out this article (h/t Josh)

Conference, Dan, and 25th Podcast Monday, August 14, 2006 |

I'm off to a conference for the next 3 days. Make sure you go and check Dan's blog and give him some comments. Fantastic 25th Epidose of On the Poddy with Dave & Dan. Graceout.

Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches Friday, August 11, 2006 |

Our church is part of this fellowship of churches. Next Monday-Wednesday is the annual conference. This will be the first time that the conference will be extended beyond the senior pastors, so I look forward to the time together.

"Our aim is to prayerfully support and encourage each other’s ministries and to promote the planting of new evangelical churches throughout Australia." (from here)

"The Fellowship is established:
  • to encourage and provide support for the continued planting of independent evangelical churches, and
  • to encourage the member churches to ongoing faithful evangelical ministry, and
  • to encourage and facilitate regular fellowship, and mutual support, between independent evangelical churches, and
  • to facilitate access to and enable the sharing of resources employed in planting, managing and operating independent evangelical churches, and
  • to facilitate the recruiting, training and employment of staff of independent evangelical churches, and
  • to facilitate movement of staff between independent evangelical churches and other evangelical churches, and
  • to promote the ministries of independent evangelical churches." (from here)
It's an exciting fellowship (movement?) to be a part of in proclaiming the gospel and planting more churches.

Pray for us.

Which glasses do you like best? Thursday, August 10, 2006 |

Youth Ministry: Sex Talks |

Traditionally sex talks are given once (if you're really lucky twice) a year in youth groups. They are often advertised and may therefore have an element of hype surrounding them. I don't think this is the best way to preach on sex. I have adopted more of an approach of dealing with it as it arises in our different Bible series'.

This year I have given 3 sex talks. During term 1 we were doing a series on Genesis 1-11 with our year7-9s. For the second talk I gave a talk on God the ultimate wedding planner and spoke about God's purposes for marriage from Genesis 2. On our year 7-12 youth group camp, in a series on Idolatry, I spoke from 1 Thess 4 about fleeing from the idol of sex. And last week, during our 1 Cor series with year 7-9, I spoke from chapter 6 about what sexual immorality is why we ought to flee from it.

I'm always conscious of not wanting to say too much too soon... but at the same time our culture and our high schools will continue to shape teenage lives and their attitudes toward sex... we need to be letting the Bible shape our teenager's worldview. Otherwise how will they know God's mind on things if they haven't yet been taught it!

Here is an article about how pop music shapes teenage views on sex.
Here is a book that encourages sexual purity in a lust-saturated world.

What do you think? How often ought we preach on sex to teenagers? How should we go about it?

Worship God 06 Tuesday, August 08, 2006 |

The Worship God 06 Conference starts shortly at Cov Life Church (where Josh H is snr minister). Challies will be doing a live blog of the event. Sally, who oversees music at our church, will also be at the conference (she probably won't do a live blog because she struggles to turn the computer on and off!). So it will be good to hear about how it goes. I'm really liking the gear coming out of Sov Grace ministries. Fantastic words, quality music and great production. If you have a poke around their website you can find a bunch of free tracks as well as samples of other ones.

This post is link-city baby!!

New Blogger: Dan |

Dan, one of the two funniest people on the internet, is now blogging (click here).

Go and check out his blog, add him to your RSS feed, laugh with him, cry with him, and add some comments to his blog so that I'm not the only one commenting!

Day off - GOLD! |

Yesterday I had the first day off for a couple of weeks. Saturday is normally my day off but we've had things on the last couple which has meant no day off!! So after an incredibly busy weekend I wagged staff meeting yesterday and spent the day with Row (who had an RDO). It was splendid. We slept in until almost 10am... did some cleaning around the house... the highlight of cleaning was listening to Boyz II Men while washing the dishes... read philippians 1 together and prayed for our families... we then went and had lunch with Row's parents and her nephew (pictured @ Gloria Jeans Hornsby)... drove to my brother's place and picked up Row's handbag that was left there on the weekend (but also got to hang out with my sister-in-law and 2 neices)... Row had dinner with some friends from uni in Gordon... I caught a train to Row's parents place... read some of Johnny Cash's bio... watched the abc news with row's dad... helped row's mum cook some dinner... ate dinner... helped row's dad with some computer stuff... drove home... read the Bible... read some more cash... went to sleep. GOLD.

Friday arvo Friday, August 04, 2006 |

Bummed and Forever |

I don't normally share super-personal stuff on this blog like how I'm feeling. But at the moment I'm feeling pretty bummed. Not sure why. A bit overwhelmed with things to do, not enough time to do them, not using time effectively, which gets me more bummed, so yeah. Whenever I get back from holidays it always takes me a couple of weeks to get back in the swing of things... but I don't feel like i'm at that point yet... I've been thinking about how much easier it would be for me to work a 9-5 job and then just cram ministry around that. I find it hard to work by myself at home... I'm very much a team sports person rather than individual. I need people around me to motivate me and keep me accountable and to talk to!! I don't think i'm depressed (in the clinical sense) or anything like that - but just want to be more efective and disciplined. Anyway... God is good...

The following are the lyrics from one of my favourite songs. It's called Forever and it's by REVIVE. It's up to 78 on the play count in iTunes on my computer and hope the boys don't mind me quoting the song here.

Do you feel like giving up, are you at the end yet?
Have you lost the hope you had, is your heart set?

This is not how it ends
I won't lay down no more, No!
I will fight to the end
But I cannot win
Only with you I'll live forever

Well he's seen it all before he's been through it with you now
He's got hopes and plans for you give it all to him
Taken from here

Tony Vidmar to play for the Mariners!!! Thursday, August 03, 2006 |

Just last week TWG had the following story: Mariners not after Vidmar... a week later: Vidmar Gosford bound. I think this is good news and even though he is 36 and recovering from a heart problem (!), he will be an asset to the Mariners backline. Less than a month until the A-League kicks off again... bring it on!

Purity Download |

Josh is up to number 5 in posting 7 tips on being pure on the internet. Here is number: one, two, three, four and five.

They are all taken from his book.

Israel, Palestine, and the Middle East |

Here is John Piper's sermon from Romans 11 with the above title. It's very good. What do you think?

(BTW - you can get his sermon's in your inbox every week - click here)

We met in a chat room... |

Napoleon Dynamite jokes aside... this is a cool story. Mike is from Tassie and Christine is from the US. They are now 'dating'. Read Mike's story here and read Christine's story here.

There's obvious issues with distance, but I think that meeting and getting to know one another this way isn't a bad thing for Christians.

We were talking with a friend last night about finding good single guys who are Christian. She said whenever she spoke to different guys they'd either be married or not Christian. So here's a proposal. Either on your blog or on your forehead - if you are an available Christian single - put an 'X'. I think this will solve lots of problems. What do you think?

Expensive red paper clip |

This guy began a quest by trading a red paper clip for a fish pen, a fish pen for a door knob, a door knob for a coleman stove, ... for a red generator... a red keg of beer... for a skidoo... for a trip to yahk... for a van... for a recording contract... for a year in pheonix... for an afternoon with Alice Cooper... for a KISS snow globe... for a movie role... for a HOUSE!!!! It took him a year and he is now going to write a book about it. Read more here.

I dare someone to do this in Australia??? Who is up for it???

Champion team Wednesday, August 02, 2006 |

Here is the Australian Football team training squad ahead of our game against Kuwait on August 16. Sydney are clearly the best team in the competition - and they've got 8 players in the squad. This is appropriate. Central Coast have proven themselves to be the 2nd best team in the competition yet they only had one call up! (I'm sure that Beauchamp and Heff would have been called if they were still in Australia). Melbourne who are cellar dwellers have 4 players. Newcastle aren't much better and they also have 4 players! The one thing that it may show is that Central Coast is a champion TEAM rather than a team of CHAMPIONS???

Nice to book you... |

This is a get-to-know-you thing. Chris sent it to me and part of the deal is to pass this on to someone else (like a chain letter, but without the death threats or rewards). So DANIEL G, CRAIG S, ADAM S, ANDY M and any others who wish to do this... take it away...

1. One book that changed your life:
'Romans' by Paul the Apostle

2. One book that you’ve read more than once:
'Guidance and the Voice of God' - Phillip Jensen

3. One book you’d want on a desert island:
'Boat building for dummies' by Keep A. Float

4. One book that made you laugh:
'Molvania: A land untouched by modern dentistry' by Santo Cilauro, Tom Gleisner and Rob Sitch. (click the pic for more info)

5. One book that made you cry:
'In the presence of my enemies' by Gracia Burnham

6. One book that you wish had been written:
'How the world turned from the idolatry of self and secular humanism to trust in the True and Living God'... maybe one day...?

7. One book that you wish had never been written:
'Pride and Prejudice' by some woman... is it Jan Austeen???

8. One book you’re currently reading:
'The Man Called Cash: The Life, Love, and faith of an American legend' by Steve Turner

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read:
'How to get things done' by David Allen (the irony...)

10. One book that you would use as a door stop:
'The gagging of God: Christianity confronts pluralism' by Don Carson (just never been able to finish it!)

Be Careful Tuesday, August 01, 2006 |

I spoke on the Beecroft Uniting Church young adults retreat over the weekend. The weather at Copacabana was warm, the fellowship was even warmer and it was marvellous to reflect upon the theme: RESURRECTION.

The place that we stayed had some bizarre signs. This was my favourite!

Is anyone reading this? Give me a comment if you are!