Sunday, July 22, 2007


What could be more satisfying on a Sunday morning than creating a Simpson's avatar?

Got this from Rhett who got it from Jonathan...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Geek Test

Got this from Jonathan's blog:

You are 55% geeky.Not bad. Maybe you spend a little too much time with your computer, but at least you have friends. You do have friends, right?The current average score is: 31.42% Fact: 8.38% of people who took this test wear a bum-bag on holiday.

It has to be said much of my score is just a result of being intelligent. I am often criticised for using big words - but I always say, if there's a better word, appropriate it...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It's a Girl!

Raegan Emma Claire was born on 15 July 2007 @ 8.46am weighing in at an impressive 10lb 2 ounces...

Her name "Raegan" (Ray-gun) is from the Gaelic meaning "wise" or "like a king".

She is named for a family matriarch, Emma, her great great grandmother on Kristen's mother's side of the family and her Aunty Claire Jones (1969-2002). She was due on 7 July the birthday of Emma's son and Kristen's gandfather.

She shares quite a resemblance to her brother Rhys, but is a better feeder and sleeper than he was at the same stage! Could this be a laid back Jones child?! She also has more hair than Rhys did if you can imagine that! So this is Rhys on the left as a newborn and Raegan on the right...

Kristen and Raegan are heading home today and the in-laws arrive tomorrow morning - what could be better timing?
Hit Jonescam in the sidebar for more pictures...July 07 and Raegan Day 2

Friday, July 13, 2007

God's Loaded...

...but is it his intention that you be? Frank's raised this issue over at A Servant's Thoughts - its a topic that winds me up, so I thought I'd take a different spin on it here. Here's what some others have to say on the Prosperity Gospel...

"This idea that God wants everybody to be wealthy? There is a word for that: baloney. It's creating a false idol. You don't measure your self-worth by your net worth. I can show you millions of faithful followers of Christ who live in poverty. Why isn't everyone in the church a millionaire?" - Rick Warren

"Who would want to get in on something where you're miserable, poor, broke and ugly and you just have to muddle through until you get to heaven? I believe God wants to give us nice things." - Joyce Meyer

"We need to renounce the false gospel of wealth and health--it is a disease of our American culture; it is not a solution or answer to life's problems." - Ben Witherington

"I don't think I've ever preached a sermon about money. Does God want us to be rich? When I hear that word rich, I think people say, 'Well, he's preaching that everybody's going to be a millionaire.' I don't think that's it." I preach that anybody can improve their lives. I think God wants us to be prosperous. I think he wants us to be happy. To me, you need to have money to pay your bills. I think God wants us to send our kids to college. I think he wants us to be a blessing to other people. But I don't think I'd say God wants us to be rich. It's all relative, isn't it?" - Joel Osteen

"How many young people are going to be pointed to Osteen as a true shepherd of Jesus Christ? He's not. He's not one of us." - The Internet Monk (Michael Spencer)

"I'm a super being. Say it! Say it! Who's a super being? I walk in the realm of the supernatural. Say it!...You want to prosper? Money will be falling on you from left, right and centre. God will begin to prosper you; for money always follows righteousness....Say after me, everything I ever want is in me already." - Benny Hinn

"For what profit is it to a man, if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?" - Jesus of Nazareth

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Putting The POWER[point] Back In Preaching

I've been thinking quite a bit about preaching lately. Not so much the next message, but the message after that. Pondering issues around communication, presentation, process etc. One of the outcomes has been to instigate the creation of a preaching feedback loop for our 4 main preachers at cessioncommunity - me, Melissa, Rhett & Frank. I'm hoping that will lift our level of supportive critique

One thing that has stuck with me for a few months is a comment that made its way to me, to the effect that there is a small group within the community who never expect to understand a message in the context of Sunday worship. That has been quite a sobering thought. I suspect the reasons are many and varied and that at least some of the fault is on the attitude of the listener. That kind of thought process can pretty quickly become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. But it also demands a considered response - how can we communicate better? How can we provide tools for people to find greater personal application? How does one promote a value which says listening and applying preaching is a personal discipline and not a consumed item?

Anyways one of the things I'm interested in is the role of visual media in preaching. We already use a ton of the visual in our wider worship gathering - pictures, video clips, powerpoint "poetry", self-made videos etc. But what about as a specific amplification of the preached message? Is our general commitment to touching auditory, visual and kinesthetic communication styles, adequately reflected in those times we specifically engage the application of the scriptures?

A starting point for me has been to investigate what others think of powerpoint. For a start there is a mass of opinion that is largely uncritical of the use of powerpoint - bigger and flasher is better - its an extreme "informational" approach, where fill in the gap outlines are supplemented by fill in the gap powerpoints. The very real danger is that its the powerpoint that drives the message rather than the passage. Then there are those who say "no" to any kind of powerpoint.

As I've looked at a few approaches I think you can divide them up into 3 broad categories:

Anyways it seemed like the sort of practical topic that people might have a few ideas on. So what do you think? Is there a balance and if so what does it look like? Or is powerpoint a needless distraction that undermines the preacher's true craft to apply truth to the gathered congregation (as opposed to the one gathered around the preachers computer at 11pm on a Saturday night!)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Bloat Rage...

"...if you're ringing about baby deliveries, please press 1 - there may be a slight delay but your call is important to us..."

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

5 Years On

Yesterday (3 July) marked 5 years since Claire died. It's strange to think 5 years have passed. It seems a lifetime ago and last week all at the same time.

This year was a visit to the beach where we were married and where we said goodbye to Claire as I scattered her ashes. Rhys came with me - every year I tell him the story about "Aunty Claire" and maybe he will get a bit more each year.
The Windross Restaurant - Claire and I were married on the balcony at the top of the steps!
Cockle Bay - we said goodbye to Claire under the trees at the end of the beach. A number of our wedding photos were taken there - there is one with Claire walking to the end of the jetty where I scattered her ashes - the wind has caught her dress and its like she's flying...

As I left the beach I was struck by how much has happened in 5 years. So many things to be thankful for. I'm mostly happy to live with the ambiguity of a life I'd never trade and a past I'd rather not relive. There's more room for definition in the gray.