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About

"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: Happy Reformation Day Podcast Tuesday, October 31, 2006 |

If you happen to have stumbled onto this reformation post (maybe from challies.com), On the Poddy with Dave & Dan is a weekly podcast of Central Coast Evangelical Church Youth.

You can subscribe with iTunes here. Download the Happy Reformation Day podcast from here (or directly from here).

Enjoy the show... and Happy Reformation Day to you!

Blurb from Poddy page:
HAPPY REFORMATION DAY!

This episode is up there with the Easter episode as one of the most important Poddy's of the year. Get listening and reading the Bible.

READ ROMANS:
www.biblegateway.com/

OTHER STUFF:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformation
http://joshharrisblogson.blogspot.com/ - Dave thinks he could beat Josh in a fight (as well as boxing champion Kostya Tzu!)

US
www.ccecyouth.com (check out the news for ccecyouth tv on YouTube)
ccecyouth@gmail.com

Don't forget this friday night is bring a friend night at massive...

Graceout,
Dave & Dan.
Did you enjoy the show? Leave comments here or at ccecyouth page...

Youth Ministry: New Blog - The Youth Vanguard |

Tim Roediger and I have started a new youth ministry blog. It's called The Youth Vanguard: evangelical youth ministry authors collective. You can find it here.

Tim has some ideas to do a youth ministry writers group and I had some ideas to do youth ministry blog. Basically we've combined the two ideas for what I think will be better than what we proposed individually. It's early days - but we'd love you to come and check it out - and send others you know who would be keen to read it to.

Below is an extract from our about us page:
"We are a group of reformed evangelical Christians interested in the theory and practice of youth ministry, particularly in the Australian context.

We have observed that youth ministers in general don't write much, and evangelical youth ministers write even less. Thus, our little gathering hopes to teach and encourage each other to write, and to also publish occasionally. This blog is like a sketch-pad where we can try out our thoughts and writing skills on each other and the wider world as they develop."

Youth Ministry: YouTube and MySpace Monday, October 30, 2006 |

Below is our first ccecyouth tv news. We played it last Friday night. It's posted on our youth group news page. Click here if you can't see it. Here is our YouTube channel. The plan is to do this type of thing a bit more often.

What do you think???


I've written a bunch of things about MySpace and youth ministry in the past (see here). This morning I had a read of the profiles of our youth groupers. Sometimes they write some stupid stuff... but some of them write some super-encouraging stuff... here's one of them:
"Have also been going to an awesome youth group since year 7, CCECyouth. I've been so thankful for my time in both FFF and FOCUS, for the incredible Phat camps and for my bible study group. God's used these three things so much in my life (and many others') and it is literally such a Godsend to have grown up in such an amazing, God driven, Christ centred, Spirit led and bible based youth group. Not saying I haven't struggled at times, but Christ doesn't say everything will be easy once you become a Christian, in fact he says the opposite."

Chaplain grant for all schools - smh Sunday, October 29, 2006 |

This is significant!?!?
Every Australian school will be eligible for a $20,000 grant to employ a chaplain - on condition the government is happy with its choice of spiritual guidance provider.

Prime Minister John Howard said today his scheme to promote pastoral care and spiritual guidance for students would be open to all public and private schools.

The scheme would be entirely voluntary and was not designed to favour chaplains of one religion, he said.

"It's available for both government and non-government schools, it's not restricted to Christian chaplains," Mr Howard told reporters in Canberra.

Under the three-year, $90 million program, schools will employ chaplains to provide pastoral care, religious and personal advice and support to students and staff.
Read the whole article here
Two more quotes from further down:
"Any new chaplaincy program must be flexible enough to take into account the diversity of religious beliefs in our school systems," she said.

But Greens senator Kerry Nettle labelled the chaplaincy program a "stupid political stunt addressing a non-existent problem".
1) Greens Senator Kerry Nettle hasn't been to a government school lately!

2) What does it mean to "take into account the diversity of religious beliefs"?? Does this mean the Christian Chaplain can't say anything about the exclusive claims of Jesus??

What do you think? Is this thing good? Does it help or hinder the Christian work currently being done in state schools?

Prayer Friday #008 Friday, October 27, 2006 |

This week I made it as a blogger. Not only did CraigS the top blog dog from Sydney link to me a stack of times (here, here, here, here) ... but Tim Challies the King of Christian blogging linked to me. I've made it!! The picture below is Dan and I in the bath recording On the Poddy. Here is the audio, here is the video. The vid is poor quality - the audio is pretty good. Thanks for praying - would love to hear how to pray for you.

PRAISE:
>ccecyouth has kicked off well
>great time in romans at growth group

PRAYER:
>writing of training material for SU
>planning for 2007
Around the Web:
Jan and Marsha on babies
Check these puppies out
Join in this important discussion
This sounds like a clever idea!
Running Home
The coolest fountain in town!
10 Steps for Boosting Creativity (h/t kurt)

Introducing God - book review Thursday, October 26, 2006 |

"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3 - ESV) This verse, from Jesus' prayer recorded in the Gospel According to John, describes eternal life as knowing God. Eternal life isn't just having life forever, going to 'heaven', being forgiven, an end to pain or being justified. Eternal life is about relationship. Relationship with God: the Creator of the Universe. Relationship with His Son: the Lord Jesus Christ.

I've recently read a book that has an aim of introducing people to God, that they may know him and have relationship with him. I can't think of a better aim for a book!

Introducing God: Meeting the God who loves us is a fantastic book written by Dominic Steele (with Melinda Chiew). It's adapted from the popular Introducing God course. The book is clear and easy to understand. Dominic is warm and engaging in his writing style. I thoroughly recommend this book to Christians as a book to read and then give away to non-Christian friends.

As a youth minister, I'd be more than happy to give this book away to senior high students. It could become a great tool for youth evangelism. Although a junior high student could read the book, I will probably continue to give 'younger' books to them.

FOUR REASONS WHY I LIKE TO READ BOOKS LIKE THIS ONE:
1) I am forgetful. I need to keep being reminded of the glorious news of the Lord Jesus. Christians need to preach the gospel to themselves daily and ought never grow weary of hearing and believing John 3:16
2) I am prone to self-reliance. Books like these point me to the Bible and my need to continue depending on God.
3) I don't reinvent wheels. These books always have great illustrations that I can use in talks or classes.
4) I like to know if a book is suitable before I give it away.

Introducing God was great because it 1) Reminded me of the gospel; 2) Pointed me to the Bible and dependence on God; 3) Had great illustrations; 4) And is definitely suitable to give away.

FOUR THINGS IN PARTICULAR I LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK:
1) It's based on Two Ways to Live. 2WTL is a brilliant gospel outline that assumes nothing. It clearly explains key doctrines of Creation, Sin, Judgement, Atonement, Resurrection and Belief. This is great for a culture that knows nothing of the Bible and needs to go back to the beginning.
2) The idea of sin can be difficult to explain to a post-modern crowd. Dominic helpfully explains sin in terms of our declaration of autonomy from God. This definition, as well as an illustration about Prince Leonard The Ruler of Hutt River, runs throughout the whole book.
3) At the end of each chapter there is a story about people who have been introduced to God. These stories are great examples of how real people have responded to the God who loves them.
4) The message of the cross is clearly explained.

FOUR WAYS YOU COULD USE THIS BOOK:
1) Read it. Give it to a friend. Talk about it.
2) Read it. Give it to a friend. Talk about it. Invite them to a course (eg. Introducing God)
3) Read it with a friend. Talk about it.
4) Read it to a friend. Talk about it.

Do you get the point? This is a great book to read and a great book to give away. Buy a bucket-full and start giving them away!

You can find the book in a Christian bookshop or online.

Have you read the book? What did you think?
Given it to any friends yet? How did it go?

Firefox vs Internet Explorer Wednesday, October 25, 2006 |

Last week Microsoft came out with Internet Explorer 7. The first update for many years. Basically they ripped a bunch of ideas from Firefox + added some new stuff. Today Mozilla launched Firefox 2. It's got some great new features. 3 Reasons I like Firefox more than IE:
1) It's faster and more secure
2) It's more aesthetically pleasing
3) It's innovative

Have you downloaded IE7 and/or Firefox2? What do you think? What's your browser of choice?

House of Flying Daggers |

Row and I just finished watching House of Flying Daggers. She gave it to me in a 3-pack (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon + Kung Fu Hustle) for my Birthday. Visually it was stunning and the cinematography was very good. I used to be a fan of 'D' grade Kung Fu for the gratuitous fight scenes! However, since the choreography of Yuen Woo-ping in The Matrix and CTHD, I appreciate the A-grade, big-budget, well-rehearsed sequences in martial arts movies.

There were two options for watching tonights movie:
1) Spoken Language: Mandarin. Subtitle: English.
2) Spoken Language: English. Subtitle: None.

I normally go for option #1 - but tonight we went for option #2. This made the movie less authentic than when I watched it at the movies.

Question: Is it possible to enjoy watching it in English? Or is it always better to have to read the subtitles?

Youth Ministry: Halloween and Reformation Day Tuesday, October 24, 2006 |

Halloween is just around the corner. October 31. Starbucks have this disgusting pumpkin spice flavoured coffee (Bec - a friend who works at startbucks - gave me a taste before it was launched). Other than that I haven't seen anything else using Halloween as a part of their sales pitch. Tim Challies has written a great article on Halloween that I actually read (normally I don't read his posts because they are too long for my postmodern attention span!). In Australia, Halloween is a non-event. Each year we would get maybe one or two visits from some punk kids who already have missing teeth from their sugar habit! So Christians in Australia don't have to think through the same issues as North American Christians.

Reformation Day is fast approaching. October 31. Same day as Halloween. As of Reformation day last year my aim is to teach teenagers something of Reformation Day and its significance. Understanding our church history (beyond the 10 years of CCEC) is important to understand the present, the future and our Sovereign God.

Watch this space for some more info on what we'll be doing with/for youth group and how we teach the wonderful truths of Reformed Theology. I think I might even have a Reformation Day party with growth group next Tuesday night!

To do some more reading on the Reformation check here and here.

Do you do anything to mark Reformation Day? What are your plans?

-------
Links:
Ben and Sally are having a Baby - funny video...
MySpace is Ugly
ccecyouth MySpace

Revelation Sermon Series Monday, October 23, 2006 |

Our morning church began a new sermon series yesterday morning. Andrew Heard kicked off the series preaching from Revelation 1. I didn't hear the talk (we have yr 7-9 Bible study during 830 and 1030 church) so I'm listening to it now. Want to listen? Get it from here or directly from here.

Our church has a wonderfully diverse mix of people from different theological backgrounds. This series will be confronting for some, but my prediction is that it will be a fantastic series. Stay tuned for more!

Has your church preached through Revelation? How did it go?

Prayer Friday #007 Friday, October 20, 2006 |

Megan has been living with us for the last couple of weeks. It's been lots of fun. Today she is leaving for Cairns and then will be going back to New Zealand. You can hear more about her on this week's episode of On the Poddy (or here for mp3). We will miss her... but she says that she is going to start blogging when she gets back... so watch this space!
Praise
>For the encouragement that Megan has been to us and we (particularly Row) have been to her
>Row. She's a delight.

Prayer
>For Megan as she settles back into NZ that she would find a good church and keep growing to be more like Jesus
>CCECYOUTH this term
Around the web:
>Mal has a blog
>Funniest thing I've seen this week
>Heardy is preaching at Men's Convention

Youth Ministry: What not to do Thursday, October 19, 2006 |

In Kurt Johnston's post What not to do, he talks about some principles for guiding the activities they do in their youth ministry. Here they are:
1) Is it age-appropriate? Is it over their head? Will they 'get it?' etc.
2) Does it dishonor anybody? I don't want to dishonor scripture, Christ, nerdy kids, jocks, tall kids, heavy kids etc.
3) Can we defend it? When a parent, church elder or senior pastor asks us why we played that game, watched that movie etc. do we have a defense that will satisfy?
He talks about how often it's the impromptu activities that can be the worst. They haven't been thought through and may have significant consequences. For me it means we want to be well-prepared and also have older-wiser leaders on hand to bring wisdom in the spur-of-the-moment activites.

What do you think of his list? Would you add anything? Change anything?

Noel Gallagher LOVES the Socceroos |

Not! See here. Can I remind Noel Gallagher that the last time Australia played England in the football (soccer) Australia won 3-1.

Ben takes a photo of himself everyday |

Youth Ministry: Preaching Wednesday, October 18, 2006 |

In today's new episode of On the Poddy we talk with our Kiwi friend (Megan) about preaching in church. She spoke of the fluffy topical preaching she grew up with compared to the practise at our church. I love the diet we get at church. Typically we work through a book of the Bible during the school term and during the holidays we will have topical/different sermons. I personally think that that is the best diet for a healthy church. What's your church like??

In youth ministry I think we need to think in a similar way. The temptation is to give too much weight to 'topics'. However, in the last 2 years, I've spoken 5or6 times on sex stuff as it has occurred in the series' we've been doing.

What does a typical year look like for your youth ministry? (re: what you preach through etc...)

Stolen |

Some idiot broke into Row's parents' car today during their day off while enjoying a picnic with some friends from England. Row's handbag was in there - so her wallet is gone (and all the junk in there!) as well as her phone and Bible. This arvo we have been ringing banks and telephone companies to cancel stuff and so forth. I left one of the lunchtime groups today early to go make phone calls etc... upon driving home I was secretly hoping someone would be there so that I could bash them up!!

Thankfully for them (and me) they weren't!

I pray that they would read Row's Bible.

I pray that I would take Jesus' words seriously.

Elizabeth Bennet is Hot! |

Row is introducing me to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. We are watching the BBC miniseries together. I have fought it off for many years and now I have finally succumbed. Row has for a long time been in love with Mr. Darcy - I am now falling in love with the delightful Elizabeth Bennet!

Elizabeth Bennet is "[t]he 20-year-old second sister, and the protagonist of the story. She is her father's favourite and inherits his intelligence and wit. She is generally regarded as one of the most endearing and popular female protagonists in English literature." (From here)

Endearing. She is a dish!!

What do you think???

Girls are more than welcome to comment too... but not too much from the P and P fans who got here based on their daily google search for new content on their cult movie!

Picture Comp #001 Tuesday, October 17, 2006 |

New feature of eternal weight of glory. These will happen irregularly when I can't think of anything to say.

Question: Where is the gnome?
BIG prizes on offer...

Prayer Friday #006 Saturday, October 14, 2006 |

Yes I know it's Saturday... but here is the latest Prayer Friday. Thanks for praying. Would love to know how to pray for you.
Praise:
>The safe arrival of my new nephew
>The Mariners beating Sydney FC last night!

Prayer:
>Term 4 of ccecyouth
>Discipline in life and ministry
>Please pray for Brie Vink who has not been well and is in hospital in Bunda. She has probably had malaria. (Child of one of our link missionaries)
I have a new design for this blog. What do you think? Still got a couple of things to do... but spent some time playing with it today while Row was hanging out with friends. Suggestions?

Youth Ministry: loving God and teenagers Friday, October 13, 2006 |

I love youth ministry. There are two key elements to youth ministry. God. Teenagers. Loving youth ministry involves loving teenagers (the 'youth' bit) and loving God (the 'ministry' bit). I love teenagers. I love God.

It's my hope that this blog would include some of my insights and experiences of youth ministry as well as comments from others with a love for God and teenagers.

A CALL: If you know of any bloggers who are involved in youth ministry and/or keen to talk about it - send them my way!!! I'm particularly keen for those in the Australian context... but not exclusively.

MY YOUTH MINISTRY POSTS:
I will keep updating this when new ones come
So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us. (1Thess 2:8 esv)

Lo and behold Thursday, October 12, 2006 |

G'day Kids. In this space only a couple of days ago I threatened to leave the blogiverse unless 17 different people commented on my post. Well... with the comment of my brother I reached 17 different people (with a total of 43 comments all together... and believe it or not 17 of them were me!!). Thanks to the 17 of you for contributing...Let the blog roll on...

Tonigh Row and I went out for dinner with her parents at Erina Fair (big prizes on offer for guessing the food establishment)... and lo and behold we were given table number 18... so close to our magical number 17! We did, however, get number 17 for our dessert order (but I think Row arranged that!).

THE MARINERS: are playing vs Bling FC tomorrow (Friday) night (the picture in the middle of the collage is Mariners logo made out of some lego block things!). Kick-off is 8pm. I'm going. Do you want to come? Send me an sms or email... we'll probably have a BBQ at my place b4 hand.

Mars Hill Church Music Wednesday, October 11, 2006 |

Last week during my week off I downloaded a whole bunch of congregational songs from Mars Hill Church Seatle (where Mark Driscoll is senior pastor). I've currently got 41 tracks, and there might be about 100 in total. They are available from here and most of them are original Mars Hill songs or reworked hymns recorded live during their church services (the aduio quality is pretty impressive). The ones I've enjoyed the most are by one of their bands called Brothers of the Empty Tomb (B.E.T in their catalogue)

Questions:
What's the best song introduced in your church during the past year?
What's your all time favourite church song?
What Bible themes or passages ought songs be written about?

Breaking news: eternal weight of glory (my blog) is this month's blog of the month on thefountainside blog ... yessss!

17 Tuesday, October 10, 2006 |

G'day Kids, I've been away from the blogoverse for a week. Soooo.... Here are 17 things that have happened since the last time we met:

1) Stayed at Row's parents' place for long weekend (+ her dad's bday)
2) Went to cafe at Erina and sat at TABLE 17 (guess the cafe)
3) 2nd hand book shop at Gosford Primary School - bought Uncle Tom's Cabin and a record for Row
4) Dan and I lost in tennis to 2 old men
5) Went to cafe in another place and sat at TABLE 17 (guess the suburb)

6) Bummed around at home for a few days - watched GOAL 3 times!
7) Listened to Tim Keller talk on Justice
8) Read the Bible (not all of it... just bits)
9) Bought The Twilight of Atheism from cheap (1st hand) bookshop in Canberra
10) Reminded that over 100,000 Australians have died in wars (War Memorial)
11) Walked out of National Museum cos Row didn't like the intro video
12) Visited Crossroads Christian church in Canberra
13) KFC for lunch!
14) Brother and sister-in-law had a baby boy
15) Row left her handbag at hospital
16) Dinner in Bondi
17) Got to hold baby when picking up Row's handbag

17 different people must respond to this post or I will quit blogging...