The joys of the internet

I love the internet. It has truly made a positive benefit to our lives.

For example, this weekend I was supposed to go to see James Morrison perform a tribute to Louis Armstrong with WASO. However, thanks to my knee surgery, there was no way I would be able to fit into my seat.

So my seat went to my sister, and then the next night I was able to watch the webcast thanks to iiNet. So I still got to listen to the concert (and have better vision than if I was there live).

The other thing I’ve really enjoyed doing on the internet has been streaming the live feed of the Formula 1 races. I enjoy watching these, while Liesl gets bored by them, so I can plug my earphones in and watch on my laptop, while liesl can watch whatever she wants.

TV on the internet has certainly come a long way, and there is now the possibility to watch anything from anywhere at a time that suits you.

Why does God allow evil in his world?

This topic suggestion, Why is there evil in the world?, is from The Daily Post as part of the Post-a-day writing challenge.

Student: Sir, you are working on the Premise of Duality. You argue there is Life and then there is Death, a good God and a bad God. You are viewing the concept of God as something finite, something we can measure. Sir, Science can’t even explain a thought. It uses electricity and magnetism, but has never seen, much less fully understood either one. To view death as the opposite of life is to be ignorant of the fact that death cannot exist as a substantive thing. Death is not the opposite of life, just the absence of it.

That quote is part of a longer story about an atheist Philosophy lecturer and a student having an argument in class, where the student ends up declaring to his classmates that the lecturer has no brain, because no one in the class has seen, felt, tasted, smelt or heard it. You can read it in full here.

You see, there is evil in this world when people are far away from God. God allows it because he has given us free will. We can choose which way we go. I have this image of God, and all his angels, looking on from above, cheering each of us on to choose the right way, and consoling us when we make a mistake.

Postaday2011 links

It’s a Mainly Music Day

This morning, I’m heading off to my church to help out with the first Mainly Music session that we’re running. This has been a long time coming, but since we set a date and made it a reality, the overwhelming sense of excitement at our church is hard to miss.

Mainly Music is a fun music group for parents or primary care givers to enjoy together with their young child. Throughout the morning, children develop gross and fine motor skills, language, imagination, mathematical and pre-reading skills as well as socialise with others.

Normally I won’t be able to help out, thanks to having to work at the time. But since I’m off work sick, I’m heading along to get out of the house, and to help out with the PowerPoint. I’m also helping out with putting the PowerPoint and music each week. I want to share some of the images that I’ve selected this week to help brighten up the slides.

Knee Surgery recovery part 1

So I went under the knife a couple of days ago, and I thought I’d update you with how it’s been going so far.

Coming out of the anaesthetic, I was incredibly cold. The nurses had me in double blankets, including around my head. Apparently I looked a bit like Muhammad Ali.

I was out of it most of the rest of the day following surgery. I wasn’t able to keep my lunch down, nor did I manage to go to the toilet. Even despite all the nurses best efforts, the Urologist was eventually called out to put a tube through to my bladder. Good fun!

Thankfully, the next morning everything was back to normal and working fine. I wasn’t using much pain medication, as I wasn’t in much pain. Eventually got back home, and enjoyed having dinner at home with my wife.

Sleeping was a bit difficult, as I found my compression bandage made my leg very itchy. Thankfully, Liesl had some powder that helped reduce the itchiness, and I ended up getting a good nights sleep.

Today, it’s been a quiet day, relaxing in front of the TV. I’m about to get down and do my exercises before dinner. The more I do this, the more likely I’ll get back doing things sooner.

Dependant on technology? Perhaps

Mission: STS-41-B Film Type: 70mm Title: Views...
An Astronaut on a space walk is entirely dependent on technology to keep him alive. This kind of dependency is a good thing. (Image via Wikipedia)

This topic suggestion, People are too dependent on technology: agree or disagree?, is from The Daily Post as part of the Post-a-day writing challenge.

It may be a tough topic for someone who writes a blog to say that we are too dependent on technology. Bloggers are, by their nature, people who embrace technology of some kind. However, are we dependent on that technology?

I have my computer, and my laptop. I also have my smart phone (HTC Desire HD) which allows me to be constantly connected. However, does having all this mean that I’m dependent on it?

I don’t believe so. I love my technology, but I could survive without it. For example, as I posted yesterday, I’ve been in hospital over night following knee surgery. While I’m writing this the night before my surgery, I actually plan on not using my phone all that much (hence the writing of this post before time), and look forward to reading a lot of my books that I’ve had on my reading list but haven’t really had the time to read yet.

However there are people who are dependent on technology. Is that a bad thing? Not entirely, so long as they do make sure there is time for the other things that are important in their life. When something takes over your life to the detriment of the other important things in life, then what becomes ok – whether it’s technology, sport, alcohol, gambling, sewing, whatever – then it becomes a problem.

Going under the knife

Right knee.
Image via Wikipedia

Today I go under the knife. I’m having my left ACL reconstructed. I was playing basketball a bit over a year ago, made a drive in towards the left, and my knee collapsed under me. The guys on the court initially said that it appeared that my patella (knee cap) dislocated around the left and then popped back in. However, it turns out that it was actually my ACL rupturing.

So I’m now going under the knife to reconstruct my ACL. I’m a little bit worried about this, but not too much. My surgeon specialises in Knee and Shoulder surgeries only, so he knows what he’s doing. Apparently I’ll be in the pool and on the exercise bike in 6 weeks, and my recovery goes on from there.

While it means that I’m going to be out of action for a while, I am very much looking forward to having strength and confidence in my knee again. While it will take a year before I’m able to play basketball again, I much prefer some time out of action so that I can get back out on the court at some stage.

So for anyone reading this, some prayers for the surgery and my recovery would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday Set List – 24 July

We had our youth meeting last night, and one of our young men, Stephen, preached on the topic “Create in me a clean heart”. Stephen also prepared the meeting lead, and he did an incredible job of putting together a fantastic service. Songs that we had this month:

  • Create in me a clean heart – Phil Laeger
  • Nothing but the blood
  • Men of Faith (Shout to the North) – Delirious?
  • Eagle’s Wings
  • I want dear lord a clean heart
  • O Happy Day (with Daena absolutely rocking out the solo)

It was a good service, and a nice set list. We’ve got the Divisional Youth Secretary coming next month, but before that we’re adding in a “Youth Style” meeting, that our corps officers will be running, but the youth band providing the music. That will happen on the second Sunday, so I’m looking forward to that.

To check out what others are doing in their services and learn more about what Sunday Setlists is all about, check out at

The power station that was

East Perth Power Station - 90s
Image by Wyrmworld via Flickr

This prompt, Old, abandoned buildings: cool or creepy?, is provided by Plinky.

On of my favourite old abandoned buildings around Perth is the old East Perth Power Station. Located on the river, just north of the Graham Farmer Freeway, for a while it has sat there abandoned, not doing anything.

There was a plan to redevelop the area, and create an arts precinct of sorts there. However, that plan has been dropped as the government (who is in the middle of a resources boom) tries to save money (but is willing to spend $700 million plus transport infrastructure upgrades on a new football stadium just the other side of the river). It’s a real shame, as if done correctly, the power station could become a really unique performance venue, and with quality development around the building, such as coffee shops, art galleries, boutique shops and more, it could be a great place to be.

But instead, the power station just sits there, having had some restorative work done to it, and then nothing more. I hope that one day something gets done to make use of this fantastic place, but I’m not holding my breath.

You can feed five thousand

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...
A depiction of Jesus, teaching seated. (Image via Wikipedia)

Liesl and I have been asked to lead a service at the York Corps on August 7, and it’s apparently my turn to preach. Now, I’m due to have knee surgery on Tuesday (if I don’t there’s a whole heap of other problems happening, but I’m not going into that), which means I may well be on crutches when we do the service. So I’m planning to preach sitting down. Jesus often sat down while teaching, so why shouldn’t I?

It got me thinking about the times Jesus did sit down to preach, which mostly appear in Matthew’s gospel. This is all because Matthew’s gospel was written for a mostly Jewish audience, where Teachers would teach seated. So there’s the Sermon on the Mount, and the parable of the Sower and the seeds that fall on various ground, but these didn’t seem to grab me. I turned to chapter 14 and read of the feeding of the five thousand.

After this, I read the relating passage in the Tyndale commentary that we were given a while ago and I now have a bookcase to display them so I grabbed this commentary and this little bit sparked an idea.

As the day wore on, the disciples urged Him to discontinue His healing activity and to send the crowds away to obtain provisions before it was too late. Jesus, still moved with compassion for the hungry, shepherdless throng that surrounded Him, decides to use His miraculous power to satisfy their needs. But first He brings home to His disciples indirectly the fundamental truth that he has called them to be shepherds of the new Israel which constitute the Messiah’s flock, but that they will never be able to discharge that function in their own strength. All the power necessary for ‘feeding the sheep’ comes from Him, the chief Shepherd of the flock, and from Him alone. Such would seem to be the significance of Jesus’ words “They need not depart; give ye them to eat.” When they point out that their available supplies, “but five loaves, and two fishes” are totally inadequate for a catering task of such magnitude, He bids them bring their resources to Him; and in His hands they become so wonderfully multiplied that when the disciples receive them back from Him and distribute the broken pieces to the people they are found to be more than adequate for the entire company.

The Gospel According to St. Matthew Tyndale Commentary (General editor Professor R.V.G. Tasker), 1961. Page 143-144
Reading this passage sparked a light in me. When Jesus says “They need not go away; you give them something to eat” (NRSV), he’s telling the disciples that they are able to feed the people spiritually. Yet they aren’t able to see past the physical needs into the spiritual needs. And then as the commentary points out, it is only through Jesus, the “chief Shepherd” that we have the power to feed five thousand people, spiritually, and when we come to him, when we rely on him, we are able to do the seemingly impossible.

So, that’s where my thoughts are at a couple of weeks out from the sermon. We’ll see how they turn out. But for now, a question for you to think about: Do you think you could feed five thousand? If not, how many could you feed?

The importance of formatting

(Image Flickr by Zeno_)

One of the problems that I see many church websites have is their lack of formatting – or when there is formatting, the lack of appropriate formatting. Writing for the web is very different to writing for print, so there’s a few formatting hints that you can use to make your posts (and pages) easier to read. Continue reading “The importance of formatting”