Tuesday, May 25, 2010

At church last Sunday, I was enthralled by a message our pastor was giving. A question he repeatedly asked us was that when we meet a new person, do we see them as a friend or as an enemy?

For me, I was brought back to different environments that I have had exposure to where I have seen people as friends, and others where I seemed to react to an air of competition or hostility. I think that our reaction depends on several things: our personality (natural tendencies), our previous experiences and our perception of the environment that we are in.

The first school that I attended, from Prep class, was welcoming. I developed natural relationships with one or two close friends, a few more tenuous links with the rest of my class and only experienced minor animosity towards who was perceived as the 'class bully' (in hindsight, he was quite soft). After moving from South East Melbourne to the more rural North East, I discovered the dynamic of my new school was very different. It seemed to be natural for people at this new school to be outwardly friendly, however when it suited them, they would take every opportunity to humiliate you to extent their own place within the social hierarchy. Individually, most of the kids were genuinely kind people, but when a group formed a pack mentality ensued. The most vulnerable member of any group was victimised and made the butt of all and any joke; they were treated unfairly in any games that were played; anything they said was scoffed at and ridiculed by every member of the pack. For me, the scariest thing about this experience, in hindsight, was that in a very short time I became a fully fledged subscriber to this social culture, despite continually falling victim to it. I became malicious, manipulative and I mistreated vulnerable people. My previous disposition was to see new people as genuine friends; I learned to see other class members, new people and even teachers as enemies, or at the very least friends of convenience.

I am reminded of "The Great Gatsby", where Jay Gatsby invited people to his property every week for a Saturday night party, including the protagonist (Nick Carroway), but no so that he can see them as friends, but for his own ends: to find a link to his old lover, Daisy. Gatsby seems to approach anyone he meets with the 'What can I get out of this?', rather than the 'What can I give?', attitude. In addition, the parties that ensue are a fascinating melting pot of drunkenness, debauchery and hostility [see the YouTube clip below].

Characters at the party start fights for the simple purpose of creating something to do...

[more to come later]

Monday, March 17, 2008

Insecurities, Fear and Love

I was awake in my bed just a few seconds ago praying and felt that I needed to come and get this off my chest/share it with you. Here 'tis.

I was thinking about personality types and fear. Sometimes I think people (like me) who have quite... 'loud' personality types often struggle with a certain type of insecurity/fear. I was lying in my bed thinking that one of my greatest fears is that people at my work will one day turn around, take a look at me and say:

"What are you even doing in this profession? You are a fraud and you really have no idea what you're doing!"

I present a certain facade in the classroom, which is a necessary thing when I am teaching, and I present a certain facade in the professional arena for my colleagues. Perhaps 'facade' is an inaccurate word; perhaps it is more accurate to say that I exaggerate certain aspects who I am.

But the thing is this: I don't know everything about teaching. I make a lot of things up. Sometimes, on the spot. I 'ad lib' some of my classes. Sometimes, I throw what I had planned for the following term out the window and plan a terms worth of work in the classroom on the spot. Not just this though, but I am almost waiting for someone to come out of somewhere and tell me that I don't do yard duty 'right', I don't speak to students 'right', I don't interact with colleagues 'right', I don't plan curriculum 'right' and they now see the other parts of who I am and have decided that I am a totally inept member of the teaching profession.

Then I remembered something...

It wasn't actually me who made me join the teaching profession. Time and time again, I have had confirmation beyond my own powers that God has me exactly where He wants me. If that is true, then whether I should be allowed in a classroom or not is not something that I have to worry about at all. Apparently, God seems to think that I am suited to this job, or he wouldn't have put me here in the first place. Apparently, He has given/is giving me the skills that I need to be a blessing to my students and workplace.

I let the truth of that wash over me as I lay in bed. I was reminded of the verse:

"A perfect love casts out all fear" (1 John 4:18).

I imagined that God's truth and perfect love was entering into my body from toe to head, pushing the fear out as it moved powerfully through.

I am very glad that I offered God the choice of what profession I would enter into, because now I can trust him that as long as I am diligent, I don't need to be afraid of being 'exposed'.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Malcolm Thunderbutt

Because it certainly isn't not not about this person.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Well, I'm on the search for work at the moment and am having a few setbacks. It's ok - as my brother pointed out in an email recently, God is very deliberate about where he is placing me and the journey he is taking me on. It would just be nice if that journey settled down for more than a year or so, but then again, maybe he's teaching me to rest on His provision rather than resting on the assurance of an ongoing job. Not that they're necessarily mutually exclusive, but perhaps I am in danger of that without learning what He has to teach me during this time.

It's all yours, Big Daddy. You know what you're doing.

Came across this today. I'm never buying a wedding dress from Macy's ever again!

Oh, and check out how her wedding turned out.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

BATMAN and a Question...

First of all this:
I can't WAIT to see how Heath Ledger goes at playing the joker. It's going to be hard to out-do Jack (kinda like Johnny Depp struggled to maintain Gene Wilder's standards for the Chocolate Factory getup), but if he brings his own manic flavour it could be one helluva ride :)

One thing I was wondering on my way to work today, what is the Christian view of gambling? I know some Christians do not enter Tatslotto based on principal, but then I have seen these same people enter competitions to win stuff. Is there a difference? Is the Bible explicit in its discouragement? Does it discourage at all? I'm aware of the whole 'drawing lots for Jesus' robe' thing, but that is neither contains positive or negative connotations (it's merely a fulfillment of prophecy).

Your thoughts?

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Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I'm not sure whether this is blasphemous, but it DOES have some funny in-jokes :D

Friday, October 26, 2007

How cool!

First of all, this:

Next of all, things are pretty hectic for me at the moment. I feel like I'm kind of in hibernation: haven't been to church in a while, don't go many places except for work. Work is hard at the moment, I miss my wife and child (who are in Germany/Turkey) and if I didn't have Andrew living with me at home I think I'd go insane... well maybe insane-er...

Anyway, I will rise from my deep cavern soon - probably not before school is done, along with reports, marking and everything else that makes a teacher's job at this stage difficult. Anyone who thinks working as a teacher is all holidays should have a go - you're in for a wonderful surprise :D

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Before I Go...

Just some personal thoughts as I was musing this morning. Please indulge my inner monologue :)

I love that I know God through personal experience.
I love that it makes sense to me to believe in him.
I love that I am convinced by relationship and logic.
If I didn't have both of those, my faith would feel empty.

I love that I am connected and loved and considered to be precious and not lonely.
I love that the simple message of Jesus is so overwhelmingly beautiful.

Monday, September 17, 2007

We're Almost (Over) There

Wow, so it's about three days till we (Chrystal, Isaac and I) will be on a plane heading to see my wonderful brother and our wonderful almost-sister and her wonderful family. I'm very much looking forward to meeting them and even more-so seeing my brother again. It will be a decent plane trip, and hope that iBoy is able to get some sleep and refrain from climbing all over the plane.

He has just started to go nuts with the crawling, and if you take your eyes off him for a second, all you will see will be scorch marks on the ground, leading to where he is powering towards; he is usually heading to an area of the house that he doesn't spend much time in - he is acutely aware of everything that he has seen before and items/places/people that he has not. Ergo, his toys are largely left un-played with, while the cords that lead to the back of my computer are endlessly fascinating. He is so funny sometimes - he tried to poke his head into the shower while I was in it the other day and ended up with a wet head and a mouth full of metal shower frame. He also likes attempting to put screwdrivers in his mouth - I gotta get a shed to put those tools in.

Anway, we leave Thursday morning, and I am extremely excited. Andrew (a good friend) will be kindly minding our house while we are away, which I hope will be of benefit to him as well :)

Our itinerary looks a little like this:

20-24 September - Northeast, Maryland, America (the highlight of which is my brother's wedding on the 22nd - still gotta write that best man speech!).

25-28 September - London (The Globe here I come!)

29-1 October - Genova, Italy (mmmm, pasta).

2-3 October - Frankfurt, Germany (where we see our good friends, Sophie and Nathan Percy)

Actually, the 3rd of October is the day that I will be leaving to go back to Aus. Chrystal and Isaac will stay in Germany with our friends for about three weeks. I am very grateful that Chrystal has that opportunity - I would've liked to stay in America and Europe for longer too, especially the US to see more of my brother, but my work calls. I will try not to cry when Chrystal and iBoy see me off at the airport. No, you're right, I won't try not to cry; I just wanted to put that link in.

Speaking of work, it looks like my job (which was a 1 year maternity position) will not be available next year, as the person I was covering for is coming back. Interesting. In many ways, I will be sad to leave Southwood. There are some amazing kids here, and some really wonderful staff members. We will see what God does next year - looks like he's got me on a very interesting path and I am looking forward to seeing where it leads (those of you who know the story so far will know what I'm talking about!). If you think of me, please shoot up a quick prayer about it :)

Ok, back to marking. Enjoy yourselves.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Prayer Words

I think the word "just" should be eradicated from everyone's prayer vocabulary. It is such an abused and overused word, and it is often used ad nauseum in the common prayer. God doesn't "just" do anything.

Also, I remember a pastor once saying to me:

"If you don't say thank you after your prayer, you are either rudely ungrateful or you don't have faith for what you just prayed."


Friday, June 01, 2007

What Is Your Favourite Music Video Clip?

I thought I'd do a bit of a post that required participation from you guys, because:

a) it is an interesting topic, and
b) our combined amount of interesting-ness is far greater than my own.

So, what is your favourite music video clip? I have a few, but I thought I'd start off with this one.

I've always loved the song, and I think that the video actually enhances its meaning very well. They are very complimentary.

Your turn!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

The New Centre of the World

...well, for Chrystal and I at least :)

Sorry for the lack of posting recently. I have been feeling a touch overwhelmed by school stuff, and I guess the blog is the first thing to feel the squeeze. I thought, rather than give a deluge of the past 'however-long-it-has-been-since-I-last-posted' of events, for my own sanity I would just give a snippet here and there.

First of all, for those who have not met Issac (or 'Snorty' as he is often called) yet, here is a video I uploaded to the ol' 'Tube. He is the bee's knees. Forever and ever, Amen.

I sound a little silly, but then I guess it's the role of a father to dote. I'm quite happy with that.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

"I Hope You Like Pain..."

Hope away...

This is a little clip that myself, King Kohl, Film Guru and Tink were watching last night. We couldn't stop laughing. It looks like it's taken form some reality TV show, kinda like a fighting version of American Idol or something. I think the thing that makes it most funny is the arrogance of these guys. They obviously think that their 1337 ninja jutsus are something to behold.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Shun the Unbeliever!!!

Um... wtf?