Archive for May, 2009

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New Page – Get to know Jesus

May 29, 2009

The Ton has its second Page. For those who visit (especially those who get here by searching for “Happy Feet”), if you don’t know Jesus, check out the page and check out Jesus.

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Calm Birth

May 28, 2009

Last week, my wife and I finished the Calm Birth course. This is a course run alongside ante-natal classes. The latter is a ‘this is what happens’ class, the former is ‘this is how it can happen’ class. It’s designed to make birth a calm an natural experience. We found it very helpful both for birth (although we haven’t tried it out yet) and in live in general.

Some key tennants to the Calm Birth are:

1. to examine and recalibrate a  mother’s beliefs and attitudes about birth as these can be one of the major differences between a positive or negative birth experience, and

2. to develop the practical skills of Relaxation, Breathing and Visualisation which are used during pregnancy, labour, childbirth and beyond

For the first, it makes a whole lot of sense. When we think of birth, we think pain, screaming, cursing one’s husband etc. However, these ‘beliefs’ cause fear, and fear causes physiological actions like blood rushing to our extremities rather than staying in our core where you need it for birthing.  Basically, fear and anxiety is good for running away from lions but not good for birth. So, if we change our beliefs about birth, we won’t have fear and a woman’s body can do what it was designed for. Also, it encouraged women who had positive birth experiences to share them, as you only seem to hear the bad ones. The second focuses on practical ways to stay calm and help the birthing process. We’ll certainly be trying this out and if you ask us, we’ll let you know

It was quite New Agey, but it led me to marvel more at God’s work. A common thread in the course was that a woman’s body is ‘designed’ for birth; it’s natural process, not a medical condition. No recognition was given to the designer, I’m very glad I can give him praise for it. Also, it’s tips on relaxation were very helpful; how you can do certain physical things such as breathing and visualising and you mentally become relaxed. I was reminded me that ideas from the world can be useful and incorporated into my worship of God. So I was challenged to take time out to relax and while doing so, reflect on the character of God.

Much more I could say about the course. I’m, so far, happy to recommend it but we’ll see how it goes in practice.

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The Chaser > Review

May 28, 2009

Just watched the first episode of The Chaser on the web and it reminded me why I never really liked the show. For me, it often goes a little over the top, which kills the humour. The attempt to repeat law suits was an example of this. Christians were Chaser fodder as well with a spoof of the ‘footprints’ poem. I’m impressed that they think enough people have come into contact with the poem for the joke to work.

The ChaserHowever, it did make me reflect on Aussie culture. We love any opportunity to pull people (especially rich or successful people) down to size. The Chaser has this down to an art form. It’s ironic, though, that even though it’s part of our culture to cut down tall poppies, we seem to all want to be a tall poppy and strive for it. Strange. Maybe if Aussies got to know Jesus better, they’d appreciate him more – him that although rich, became poor to death on a cross so that we can be rich toward God.

But, the Chaser has its place, and there is usually at least one stunt that works (e.g. the G8 summit). This episode it involved my old school. Somalians in boaters – classic!

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First Funeral

May 20, 2009

Today I led a funeral for the first time. It was for my aunt. My uncle and his family were very thankful that I could do it and I think it made more special because someone they knew led the service. Apparently there are not restrictions on who can take a funeral – I didn’t know that.

I met up with my minister on Monday for some “how to do funerals” training and a comment of his struck me – “Many think funerals are for the dead, but they are actually for the living.” This funeral certainly turned out to be a comfort for those who mourn and, by God’s grace, hopefully a reminder that we will all have a funeral one day.

One thing that did strike me was how appreciative my family were that they had ‘a minister in the family’ (even if I’m only a student one). As silly as my decision to go into ministry may have sounded at first, they were all very thankful I had made it now.

May God use this event to get my family thinking about their standing before God before they stand before God.

In other news, I think my half-brother has become a Christian! (And he wasn’t even at the funeral)

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WVotW: Postmodernism & Rugby League

May 14, 2009

Moving from Modern to Postmodern has seen moved ethics from universal standards of right and wrong to what communities agree upon as standards of behaviour. We see this in the depressing saga around Matthew Johns. He stated on ACA last night that his actions were ‘morally wrong’ (although not legally wrong) and that he is ‘guity of infidelity to [his] wife and absolute stupidity’. Taking the media’s condemnation as a guide, Johns has trasgressed a community standard.

It’s worth reflecting on the fact that despite ethics being seen as relative, guilt and the effects of sin remain in people’s lives. Forgiveness from Matthew’s wife seemed terribly costly. Forgiveness from God is even more costly, but costly to God, costly to death. But with God taking on our guilt and accepting our sin we can enjoy eternal forgiveness. May Matthew find this, may we trust it, and may others come to know it.

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WVotW: Postmodernism

May 9, 2009

The second worldview in A Spectator’s Guide to WVs is Postmodernism. Paraphrasing Clarke, Postmodernism involves not knowing anything for certain, having different methods of understanding, and thinking that what’s right for me may not be right for you. You can make up your own mind about what is true.

postmodernAlthough philosophers may be saying that it is on the way out, we’re still in a Postmodern world so I see what examples I can find through the week.

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WVotW: A final word on Moderism

May 9, 2009

Now that my Greek test is (stative aktionsart) over, it’s time to get back to WVotW. Moderism is where all trust and hope is put in science. A big problem is it fails to answer the big questions in life (e.g. Why are we here?).

A final word for Moderism goes to the Today show host, Lisa Wilkinson. In a segment on morning sickness, the interviewed doctor explained that it doesn’t harm the baby but is “Nature’s way of protecting the baby.” To which Wilkinson replied, “Nature’s good like that.”

Thank God for Nature. 😉