Sunday, January 29, 2006


Saturday I was running a grappling tourney yesterday. Doing some reffing, some admin, some public relations. It was very successful, plenty of people. No one got hurt. There was some great matches and the overall atmosphere was very friendly, and fun.

I had to leave early to play cricket, but as I got ready to leave I noticed it was raining very hard. So I called the captain and asked if the game was washed out, and he said it was. Now as I wrote on Sunday I had been dealing with a bit of depression, and this really bummed me out. I love competition, and it helps me deal with things.

So I did the most logical thing...

I entered the absolute division (any weight classe any experience level, usually the toughest division) of the tourney. But I hadn't trained seriously in four months. I am not in grappling shape at all.

Well I had fun, won a few matches, and most of all got to get that adrenaline happening. I really feel much better. Man, if they sold adrenaline at McDonalds, I might have to go back after ten years. :)

the rev

Saturday, January 28, 2006


I think the thing that sucks worst about depression is the effect it has on those you love. I didn't realize I was struggling the last three or four weeks. It was a bit different than usual. I just didn't want to really be around anyone else. Even people I love dearly.

Glad I have such understanding friend and family.

If you ever struggle with depression, I hope you talk to a professional and your close relations about it. When light hits darkness, it makes a huge difference.

the rev

dressed for success

Was at the beach on Australia day, with quite a few others. It was pretty darn hot, and it was windy, so there was a bit of derma abrasion happening thanks to the sand. We figured out the best way to stay cool and not get sanded was to put our chairs about six inches deep in the water. It was nice.

But as we were sitting there, my wife and I, I noticed a strange spectacle.

This young child, probably four years old was screaming and crying. He had this brilliant blonde hair. Was wearing great board shorts, and a rashy. Looked custom bred for the ocean. He was dressed for the waves. But there he stood screaming. Terrified of the water. Yelling and dancing with his hands pointed up in desperate gesticulation. Please please get me out of the water, I hate it here.

Funny that I immediately thought of one of my old friends who wanted to join us in ministry. He got some tats, a piercing or two, and some doc martin boots. He was ready to help.

He lasted two weeks.

the rev

Saturday, January 14, 2006


Sometimes in life the littlest things, can be the most powerful. Sometimes in life the smallest of things can illustrate the most profound truths, they point the way for true understanding, for enlightenment. This powerful reality is brought to me over and over in Australia. It is not the same here. There is a difference between America and Australia, even though most Americans (being the insensitive louts that we are) would miss them at first. And its the little things that show this.

John, what the hell are you talking about?

My friend Mark Sayers, tried to get us ready for Australia. Tried to help us understand the differences in cultures. He explained the little things that most Americans miss at first and therefore suffer culture shock, six months in, rather than right away. And some of the things he showed us we understood, and some we have since learned.

Little things...

Aussies don't usually like to talk about themselves.

Aussies often take their time becoming your friend, but once they are mates, there is intense loyalty.

Melbourne Aussies have a taste for the sarcastic and cynical.


I don't always learn my lessons well. I remember we went out to eat on a Friday night in the city. There was fourteen of us, so we were hard to seat. Everyone wanted to eat at a certain restaurant, but they couldn't seat us for an hour and a half. This wouldn't do, we were hungry. Everyone was upset, they wanted to eat here, but we couldn't. I asked my friend, "if its such a big deal, why not slip the host a twenty or two and have him seat us now"

Now Mark looked at me like I had murdered his mother and was dancing in her blood. "you are kidding right?" I was perplexed, and shook my head no. "you can't do that!!! he'd get fired, you can't get a seat because you have money" I was a bit surprised, this is common place in Los Angeles. I was given a lesson about egalitarianism, and how improper it is to get special treatment because of money. I still don't understand why its okay to eat a better meal with better wine because of money, but not to sit sooner, but then I was born in America.

Its the little things.

Let me tell you about the little things.

Flies!!! Australian flies powerfully show the difference. You can't get away from them, they are everywhere, so I am constantly reminded of the difference. See American flies are different. They are tend to be individualistic. One fly will decide you are its target for the day, and he will buzz around, saying look at me, look at me. But not the aussie fly, they are always together. No one fly gets the attention, they are all together, equal. No one calling for more attention than the rest. And they are persistent. If you make contact with an american fly, infact if you even stir the wind a bit, they will often leave you alone. Lots of show, no go. But these aussie flies, they never give up. They keep coming back and coming back. Battlers to the last one. I have seen them in the hundreds stay on the arms and back of a golfer as he swings his club. And if you kill one aussie, another five will come right back at you. And I have never seen an aussie fly map out a geometric pattern and continue to fly it over and over, they are way more layed back. They go from one to another, but don't waste time with relentless precision for the sake of it. They are far from lazy, but don't stress so much. They take life as it comes, and don't make it more or less than that.

Aussie flies mate, their fairdinkum different than American flies

but French flies...

thats just stupid!

the rev

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cricket and rejection

You know, I am not used to not making the team. I was always one of the first guys picked. I was not picked to play this weekend, and it sucks. This weekend the fours are not playing, so we have only three teams and enough people to fill five teams, and I was judged not good enough.

Like I said I am not used to this, and its hard for me. The thing that is a bit tough is I work very very hard. I would say I work harder than just about anyone on the team except some of the young guys still hoping to make it to the big leagues. I go to the nets two to three times a week by myself, or with a friend. I am always one of the first people at practice, and usually stay to the end. I watch instructional tapes, I go to to get coaching lessons occasionally, and I sit around the house twirling a ball in my hand just about all the time. In the games I run at full sprint to the boundry to save a run, I dive, and jump and throw myself at the ball. I cheer and sledge in the field even when we are in a lull. Didn't I earn it? Shouldn't I be playing?

No, I shouldn't. I am not good enough. I have only been playing for a few months, some of these guys have been playing for over twenty years. I have to do more than work hard, I have to be a better cricketer. And I am not one to lose heart.

The thing that I recognize, is this, I am glad God doesn't judge us in this way. He accepts us even though we can't always control our line and length, and never control our flipper. And when we can't bat to save our lives.

When it comes to eternity, I am glad we aren't trying to make the team. The captain says, "I want this one on my team"

the rev

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


Our good friend Kieren suggested we look at this subject.

I took a look at this link, and I guess the premise is that those experiences of "people of faith", are really explainable by science, and the result of magnetic fields or enviremental or pyschological contexts.

It would seem to me that the result of any such tests, only proves that in some situations some people may have "spiritual" type feelings. This however would not explain my own personal experiences.

I have spent many hours debating the subject of faith with athiests and agnostics. I have also come to the understanding that the basic issue stems from our presuppositions. When we start with an understanding that there is a God we interpret our data, our logic, our facts, and our experiences through the God grid. When someone comes from a place that says there is no God, they deal with life through this grid. The fact that people often switch sides, does not explain away the results of our presuppositional thought. And often our presuppositions are based on things that are not scientifically proven. This is true of the athiest as well as the theist. The athiests cannot prove the non existence of God empirically, nor can the theist prove the existence of God empirically. So we wind up argueing from our own place of faith.

I will say, that the things I have experienced would not be effected by these tests, nor would they be scientifically verifiable. I understand that I cannot expect anyone to take my word for it, but I also believe in the truth of my experiences. Though I have experienced "supernatural" occurences, the greatest truth I can hold on to, is this...

I have changed through the influence of Jesus on my life, I have become a better man, a better husband, a better father, a better human. The fact that others become better without Jesus, does not mean I could have, nor would have without Him. My life has been changed for the better because of Christ. I am more fulfilled, joyful, and selfless. I hope I continue to let Christ change me into His image.

the rev

mmmmm gumbo

Had a wonderful surprise today. A friend from the states, that I actually don't know all that well, decided to send us a little care package for Christmas. Packages of gumbo and dirty rice, and some cajun spices. Had gumbo tonight, and man it tasted so good. With some fresh French bread and a glass of cab sav. It is the little things that you enjoy isn't it?

What really blessed me is this wonderful couple took the time to really think about what we (really I :) ) would be missing, and sent it to me. I desire to do the same, to be that kind of person. I was really blessed by a simple gift, isn't it the inexpensive, thoughtful, relational things that make life really worth living?

the rev

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Was reading some Bukowski

I really like this poem


the important
the obvious


I hope I spend more time talking about the important things, and less just talking.

the rev

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Well now is the time people have broken all of their resolutions, so we can talk about real life. :)

When we have a chance to stop and look back on the year we have just had, what do we see? Do we look honestly and see everything? Or maybe do we just pick out the bad, the disappointing, the hard? Or maybe the other way, view our past with rose coloured glasses? It would seem to me that maybe the best way to look back at last year is the way you don't naturally do it. So if you look at last year and see a bunch of bad stuff, try and remember the good things. And vice versa.

But I think more importantly we can look forward to what the future brings us. This year I have some interesting challenges, securing our visa, keeping our finances stable, overseeing the coaching of thirty interns, starting some new churches, helping some not so new churches. And through it all holding on to my personal time with God, and my time with my family.

Evaluating the past, and planning for the future are both good, and necessary we can only live in the present. This is a humbling thought, as I am not always good at the present. What I do with the now, will eventually decide what my future is, and how my past was worked out. This year I hope to be more about the now, live in the moment, and truly enjoy God each and every moment.

Atleast for as long as I remember to.

the rev