Sunday, 31 October 2010

Something to get your teeth into

On Friday night the leadership team from the church went out for a meal with Terry & Wendy.
In our desire to introduce our guests to the Aussie way of life we took them to Outback Jacks.

I was impressed by how much steak Wendy consumed

I never appreciated how messy eating ribs could be.

As for me I choose to wrestle my way though a crocodile burger!

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Rotary Breakfast

Left the house early this morning to attend my first ever Rotary Club Meeting.
It was fascinating being a 'visitor' - not sure where to stand, who is who, who to speak to, where to sit....a helpful reminder of how people find it when they initially visit church.

Despite it being 7:15am, people at the Rotary Club of Cockburn were really friendly. We sang a song out of the book and were offered fruit or a cooked breakfast (I took the fruit, even though Nicky was not with me.... I had not realised we were eating and had already consumed breakfast!)

Interesting to learn the various activities the group use to raise money and see some of the ways they generously give it away.

There was lots of fun in the proceedings:
People obviously are good friends (community) and banter with each other - especially when someone got something wrong.
We all stood up and had to play 'heads or tails' (place your hand on your head and or bottom and of the dice rolled have the same combination as you , you stay for the next round) - the winner winning a bottle of wine.
The members were 'fined' for various misdemeanours - basically a way of taking a collection that I estimated raised another $80.

Amazing that we covered so much and yet also kept to time....finishing promptly at 8:30 as stated up front.

An intriguing exercise and many helpful and stimulating pointers for leading a church!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Biggest & Best!

Sunday 24th October.

At church on Sunday we had the most people since I arrived in Perth almost 4 months ago - 65! We had 5 first time guests. Rob and the guys led us superbly in worship - some great contributions and we were so aware of the gracious presence of God. I felt the preach went well - I am not fishing for compliments.

In the afternoon we had friends from the UK round: great fun in the pool, eating and chatting and blistering my feet playing basketball barefoot down the park.

13 people came to the Vision and Values evening at our house: a chance to hear about the church and the adventure where we believe God is taking us - so they can decide to join the adventure!

Saturday, 23 October 2010

On your marks... get set... GO!

Today I had my first ever experience of Little League Athletics when taking Isaac to Melville Roar. I was stunned by the organisation and efficiency. I am sure we will be back there next Saturday.

I know that parents have to go on a roster and volunteer each fortnight (Nicky was there today from 7:30am to 12:30pm)

I don't know how many kids were taking part today but it felt like an army of ants organising the event.

For example at the long jump:
there was one person calling the children forward and after each attempt recording their score
there was one person who powdered and swept the jump plate and measured the jump
there was one person holding the measuring tape up to the in print in the sand
there was one person sweeping the sand back smooth
there was even one spare person in case anyone needed a break

It was so organised they even had a wheelie bin of water and a generator stood next to the sand pit so that they could pump water onto the sand and keep it smooth!

To give you and idea of the scale of the event - there were 2 lots of long jump going on at the same time (as well as discus, shot putt, javelin, triple jump, high jump, 100M, 200M, 400M, 800M....)

I know that the Bible often pictures the Christian life like a race.

I want to be part of a big church where all happily serve, where people try their best and those supporting cheer them on. I love the idea of the church having well thought through high standards and that people love it and come back week after week!

Friday, 22 October 2010

Each one counts!

Numbers are a bit like marmite - you either love them or hate them.

In my defence there is a whole book in the Bible named Numbers and someone around Jesus must have spent a lot of time counting as we know that He fed 4,000 on one occasion and 5,000 men plus women and children another time.

I appreciate that numbers only tell 1/2 the story and that when you are a small church percentages are even better!

We now have 19 people who are members at the church.
13 people have said they will come to join the church evening on Sunday night.
We had 30 people spread across the 3 Life groups we launched this week.
Our income has increased 50% on 2 months ago.
We have 85% of the church signed up to serve on a Sunday morning.

...but hey who's counting....its all for the glory of 1 Jesus!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Terry & Wendy Virgo are coming to Perth!

October Special!
I know that some people have got excited that the month of October has 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays and 5 Sundays in it - something that only occurs every 800+ years

I feel more excited that we have Terry & Wendy Virgo coming to visit Perth - I guess it may well be ages if ever, before they come again !

Terry will be speaking Saturday morning (9am) and Wendy talking to the ladies Saturday evening (7:30pm)

Terry will speak Sunday morning (10am) and share his story and answer questions Sunday evening (7:30 pm)

All meetings are free and will be held at the Wetlands Centre Bibra Lake, along Hope Road.
If you know folks in Perth pass it on.
If you want more details ask.
Hope to see you there

Monday, 18 October 2010

Did you park or stop and get out?

It is so often the little things in life that we notice:
Kind words make you feel welcome
The wrong sauce on your subway changes the whole thing
Squeezing the wrong of the tooth paste tube cause marriage difficulties

Living in another country I seem to observe little things that fascinate me.

On Sunday instead of our morning meeting (we could not use our usual venue) we met in our 3 new Life Groups. I was pleased that including kids we had 14 people come for lunch, use the pool and just have fun together.

Having moved from London with semi-detached houses and little off road or on road parking visitors could end up parking in the next street and walking to a house. I found it fascinating to see out the front of my house the arrangement of the 8 cars that had transported our group together:

Saturday, 16 October 2010

What do you talk about?

Last night a local family we have met through school invited us round to have Pizzas. The guy had built his own pizza oven in the garden. He provided prepared bases and we designed our own meal before he cooked them in front of our eyes. It was a great evening sat outside chatting with new friends.

As is often the case when Australians discover we are new Poms they want to tell us about this great land: we heard about spiders, snakes and shark attacks. One story after another is brought out with the level of risk and danger increasing.

Things were more serious and honest when our host did also share about how he suffered a heart attack just over 3 years ago. This has resulted in him taking more exercise and being careful what he eats so as to prolong life for as long as possible.

The mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart
What is it that you end up chatting about when you are relaxing with friends?

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

A Big Squeeze

As a church we meet each Sunday and also in a home mid week. The small group setting is a great chance to build authentic community, supporting each other as we step out for Jesus throughout the week.
Despite me and the family being away (yes all 5 of us normally go the mid week group) there were 21 people gathered together in a home last Wednesday night!
This Wednesday we are gathering for the last time as one group - and having fun celebrating the need to go to 3 groups next week.
We prayed for the group leaders last Sunday: an Australian couple, a British couple and a couple from Zimbabwe!
I can't wait until we see another group emerge, and another and another.....

Friday, 8 October 2010


For the last 8 years around Easter I have taken one or more of my kids camping for a few days: to have some focused time with them. It has been great to have uninterrupted days to talk, laugh play and interact.

Having not done so earlier in the year, due to our move down under, the trip this year had been delayed until this week.

We have had a great time sand boarding, kayaking, body boarding and the usual games of monopoly and Yahtzee followed by an almost midnight feast!

However I feel slightly guilty calling it camping....

On Monday I went to the camp shop with my gas cooker regulator to see if could buy a connector and gas bottle. When I showed him the apparatus I had lovingly transported from the UK he looked and laughed. He thought the contraption had been smuggled out of Indonesia and told me it was far too dangerous to be used in OZ. Feeling snubbed I mocked his 'nanny state' and told him that camping in the UK was for men, about adventure (I forgot to say it involved surviving the cold and rain!)

When we arrived at our 'camp site' it began to dawn on me the cross cultural lesson regarding sleeping outdoors. Not only did we all have electricity points, lights around the site and a pool: the kitchen area included a fridge freezer (remember at this point the one at my home had not been working for about a month) a kettle, a toaster, a sandwich toaster, cooking rings, BBQ's and a TV on the wall. I even found a teenage guy in the toilets straightening his hair! When I commented to one camper about the lavish style they told me I should try another site where there was even a laundry service available!

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Good to gather?!

As a church leader I am always excited about gathering...the more the merrier.

I know when church planting I was accused of counting children in the womb - I do believe that life starts at conception!

Even I draw the line somewhere...

Last night in my sister in laws bedroom we
discovered a Huntsman Spider

We have also caught several cockroaches around the house

I know that I should be grateful for all that God sends my way but a few more of the 2 legged variety would be better!

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Make a joyful noise!

Today I did something for only the second time in my life - I led worship! (Those who know me will appreciate I love singing....but will still quickly want to pray for the church!)

We have a guy - Rob who is great at leading worship but he cannot do every I stepped in the gap.

Joel on the guitar and his brother Jesse on the drums were gracious as I am not sure I started any song at the right time.

It was good to focus on the cross and Jesus dying for us.

I don't think I will be releasing an album any time soon and if you know anyone - particularly a keyboard player who would like to lead worship and is called to Perth then let me know ASAP!