Monday, May 29, 2006

Open Mic night at the Cave (wanna hear me sing?)

Hey friends,

Every Saturday night:

the Cave expressions

This is an acoustic open mic night at the Cave 76 St. Leonards rd. Starts at seven Pm

We will try and have one act every night and then have sign ups throughout the night. This is not just for music, but for spoken word as well, so come on out. Whether you feel like sharing or not, should be a nice night out. There is no charge, but a suggested donation of $5.00 to help pay for some new sound equipment (not great now) and to pay for utilities, (we have great gas heaters, if nothing else you'll be nice and warm)

I will be doing a set this Saturday, my play list?

Low Self Opinion by Henry Rollins

Where's the light my own

Story of my life by Social Distortion

Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen

Jesus by Michael Knott

Double by Michael knott

and maybe

Little Red Rooster by Willie Dixon

should be fun :)

the rev

Sunday, May 28, 2006

FORGE factory day (worshop on sharing our faith)

Dear friends,

If you are interested in a very practical, insightful worshop on sharing your faith in this western, increasingly post modern culture, please join us this Saturday June 3rd at The Red network's building (South Melbourne church of Christ) on Dorcas st in South Melbourne from 10:00 am til 2:30 pm. There will be imput from some effective evangelists from different parts of Melbourne sharing with you the hows, whats and wheres of sharing your faith today.

The cost is only $25.00 and will include a simple lunch.

If you have any questions please email me at

the rev

Sunday message

Well guys, I am back for a while. I am leaving for a visit home in a few weeks, and I am hoping to be able to post while there, but we'll see.

Last night I talked about Pentecost. Or more correctly the lead up to it. Jesus spends forty days with them. Talking to them of the kingdom of God. It is interesting that whenever Jesus talks about the good news, it is always the kingdom of God, not salvation, or going to heaven. Jesus secured that, but to him this is only a part of the good news. The whole good news is that God's rulership can come into the world through you! Meaning love, justice, mercy, forgiveness, compassion and much more, is now available to and through us. And that this will then effect all people, not just the individual when they die.

He tells them they are going to wait in Jerusalem for the power from on high. To wait for it. And that when it comes they will be His witnesses in their own town, the greater Jerusalem area, and eventually the entire world. The Spirit does that to you!

The disciples watch Jesus into the heavens. They are told by the angels to go and do what they were told, stop staring at the empty sky. How often do we wind up gazing longingly at the last place we saw Jesus? We try to recreate that great worship experience. Or that feeling we had when we were baptised, or maybe the sense of God's presence we felt when we fasted, or were on a retreat. But God does not live in our memories but in our now. Stop looking at the last experience, and be obedient. Do what you know is right, and you will experience even more of what God has for you.

And then we see the disciples praying, united, in a room for ten days. The way some people teach about this is flat out wrong. They act like this prayer manipulated God to send the Spirit, and the resulting mass conversion. Like if we would just do what they did then God would have to do... blah blah blah. God is not manipulated, you don't earn the Holy Spirit, or earn a succesfull altar call by unity or prayer.


Prayer changes us. The Holy Spirit was coming on Pentecost no matter what. This feast of the first fruits (the beginning of the harvest) was the sign given years before for the beginning of the church. The church started on that day, no matter if they prayed or not. Their prayer however, did change them. It changed those men and women, and prepared them for what God was always planning on doing. They were prepared for the inclusion of over 3,000 people into their community. They were prepared for the resulting persecution, for the need of the new church, for the conflicts that were coming. The time in prayer, unified prayer, was necessary for their own preparation, as it is for us. We cannot by any prayer movement, force God's hand, but we can by prayer, be ready for what is coming our way.

the rev

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Cave Opening (big thanks)

Well, the urgent work is done, and we had a celebration last night. There is still plenty to do, and truly the work is never done, but it was nice that most of the essentials are now finished and we can continue at a more leisurely pace.

Thanks to everyone who helped to fix the building, to bake goodies, to prepare the service and for all of you who braved the cold, rainy Melbourne night to celebrate with us.

I felt like it was a great evening. Started out with Andy singing a beautiful rendition of Hallelluia, by Leonard Cohen, (sounded a bit more like Jeff Buckley), sang some songs, and had a bit of silence. Were treated to a couple of African songs from our Sudanese family. Then I gave a message about Lazarus' cave, and how that was an inspiration for us. We then had some prayers, took communion and took our time leaving.

There were many people I had not met before, I was especially glad to spend a brief bit of time with one of the former pastors at Ascot Vale. There were many comments about the remodel, and it seems most of what we were trying to accomplish worked. It really is a warm, inviting space, with art on the walls, comfortable chairs around tables, a bar to sit around. It feels nice to be there, ofcourse we do have three gas heaters that actually can make the room too warm even on a night like last.

I would particularly like to thank a few people. My wife for putting up with my obsessive nature. The amazing group of people at ascot vale church of Christ. They have not only put up with me, and my wild ideas, but jumped in and helped make them a reality. They have laboured long and hard to retain a vision, and have welcomed change with only a little glimmer of worry. I am blessed to work with such humble and tireless Christians. My two assistants have also been a big help and inspiration to me. Dan and Anthony have faithfully walked through this time, despite some very traumatic events this last week, and have lost none of their passion for mission and the vision.

I am very pleased, excited, and hopefull.

thanks again,


Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Please Join us if you are in Melbourne


the CAVE

Churches of Christ Ascot Vale Experiment




Caves are places of mystery. They are places of exploration, danger and excitement. They are places where treasures are hidden, and waiting to be discovered. Caves are places of hiding, and sometimes even homes. Caves are places where we find awe and wonder, and leave filled with a sense of the beauty of God. Please join us for a time of worship and celebration as we start our journey to be a place where people can come experience the wonder, the excitement, and the sacrifice of Jesus’ dangerous message.

There will be music, video, discussion as well as refreshments provided.

76 St. Leonards Rd

Ascot Vale

0401 968 410

Hope to see you there and please bring along any of you friends

The Jensens and the whole Cave crew

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Elijah's cave (how do we hear from God)

We started our Sunday night service at the Cave last night. It was a great night. I have decided to do a three part series on a few caves in the bible, these our part of our decision to take the name the Cave.

Hope you enjoy

Elijah's cave

Elijah is not what anyone would consider a contemplative. We do not expect to see Elijah participating in silence, and stillness. This fire breathing prophet is not the silent type.

We see him not only challenging the priests of Baal to a duel, but then see him mocking them as they cut themselves and wail. He is not content to just win the battle, but adds insult to injury by pouring water over his own altar, yet when he prays, fire falls. And again not content he then kills every single one of these false priests.

When Elijah prays the rains stays away, and when he prays it comes back. When he prays people get healed. Miracles happen. He stand before kings and does not back down. But this great man of faith winds up in the desert, alone, burnt out, and faithless. He cries for God, to please just kill him now.

God gives him some food, and some drink, and sends him off to the mountain at Horeb, where he climbs into a cave for shelter. And God asks him, "why are you hear Elijah"

Elijah tells him that he has worked hard for God, but has failed, the enemy has killed all of Gods people, he is the only one left and they are looking for him to kill him now too.

God says, to go watch out the caves mouth. Elijah sees a wind storm of frightening power, tearing rocks out of the earth. This is the kind of man ELijah is, this is the kind of ministry he has had. The wild wind of God's power! But God was not in the wind.

Then Elijah sees the earthquake, and again Elijah was this kind of prophet. Always shaking things up, disrupting the order of things, but God is not in the Earthquake either.

Then the firey prophet, sees the fire. The prophet of fire, the one who called down the fire from heaven, the one who disappears into the heavens in a chariot of fire, looks unto the fire but God is not in the fire either.

God doesn't behave like we expect all the time does He?

Then in a still small whisper, Elijah hears God. God asks him the same question, and he gives God the same answer as before. And God tells him to go and find his prophetic heir, to place the leaders over the people, to fulfill his destiny, and tells him, you are not alone, there are still those that call on my name.

I pray that you may see and hear God in ways you do not expect. I pray that in the midst of the storm, and quakes and fires of this life, you will be sensitive enought to hear the still small voice of God. I pray that when you have come to the end of your rope, when you feel alone, defeated, and ignored, that God will speak to your heart, and give you a future to walk into.

When is the last time you made space to hear from God?

the rev

The Cave

We have decided to call the new work in Ascot Vale, the Cave. The remodel of the building is almost complete, and will soon be used for a community center. There will be movie nights where people can come watch a dvd, and share free popcorn. There will be help for kids in the neighborhood with their homework. There will be a space for doing art. There will be classes on tile mosaics. And on Sunday night we have a worship experience.

The hall is set up like an eclectic bohemian coffee house. On Sunday nights we serve coffee, tea, biscuits and toast. Everyone sits around tables. We have some music, some discussion, some teaching which may include video, discussion, excercises of some sort. We partake of communion and prayer.

We had our first service at the cave last night, and it was a wonderful evening.

We chose the name the cave for a number of reasons. The first, and most important is ofcourse, my wife said so. But to make my fragile male ego feel better I needed a few more excuses to take the name. The second is that three people came up with the same name apart from each others influence, and as it is an unusual name, that seemed significant. The thirds is the Cave can be an acronym for Churches of Christ Ascot Vale Experiment. And then ofcourse there needs to be a scriptural or philosophical reason, and I had three caves from the bible that seemed to connect with what we are doing.

The first three services I am talking about these scriptures, and I will post a brief summary of my messages here.

Elijah's cave

Elisha's cave

Lazarous' cave

If you would like to join us any Sunday night the service is at 7pm at the Ascot Vale Church of Christ on St Leonards rd in Ascot Vale. We will be having a grand opening celebration service on the 21st of May, and you are all invited to that.

the rev

Friday, May 05, 2006

mother and child

Well sometimes we see things that are a bit uncomfortable. Yesterday as I was standing in the rain waiting for the tram to take me from Richmond to Flinders station, I looked across the street as I heard some yelling. It was a mother yelling at her little daughter (maybe four at the most) to keep up. She was in her school uniform still, with a rain slick and big rubber boots and was almost running. The mother turned around angrily and started walking again, but at such a rapid pace. She was slowly increasing the distance between her and her daughter again. Her legs so much longer were taking one pace to every two of her daughters. The daughters head was down and you could tell she was concentrating with urgency trying to increase her speed, but her mother got farther and farther away.

As the mother got to the corner she stopped and turned around clearly annoyed that she had to wait for her little girl to get there so they could cross the street together. I couldn't hear what she said to her, but the tone was sharp.

I felt so sorry for the little girl, she was trying so hard.

I wonder why we so often view God like that mum?

the rev

The best wedding quote I have ever heard!!!

Went on Wednesday to the wedding of two friends, Paul and Deb. They are a an inspirational couple, both work for UNOH in Springvale, and have given their lives to the kingdom of God. It was very special watching a wedding like this, very powerful.

It seemed atleast to me that God personally gave His blessing to the wedding. As the bride finished her long walk down the stone stairs at the beautiful Murroonda reserve, and stood for a second at the edge of the crowd, a couple of kookaburra's started laughing. I really thought that was awesome.

During the grooms speach he said something that I will ever remember. "Deb and I don't have much, but we hope someday we never will" I love Paul and Deb, I pray for a long, fruitful marriage, that will bless everyone they come in contact with.

the rev

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Art from me and Raquel

On some of my past posts the pictures don't show up anymore, so I thought I would post a few and give you a link to look at others. The tryptich above hangs in my mothers house now.

this is one of Raquels mosaics.

you can look at some more of our art by clicking HERE.

the rev