Archive for January, 2010


Top 5 Singles – 25/01/10

January 28, 2010

This week Lada Gaga has two tracks on the Top 5 as Owl City bows out. Powderfinger holds onto #2 for the Australia Day week.

1. BAD ROMANCE Lady Gaga (2 wks on #1)

2. BURN YOUR NAME Powderfinger (-0)

3. REPLAY Iyaz (-0)

4. TELEPHONE Lady Gaga Feat. Beyonce (New)

5. ART OF LOVE Guy Sebastian Feat. Jordin Sparks (-0)


Top 5 Singles – 18/1/10

January 21, 2010

This week sees Lady Gaga achieve her first #1 on The Ton charts. Iyaz debuts at number 3. I heard a kid, who’d only be about 10 years old, singing this song at the beach yesterday. Not sure what that says about my taste in music.

1. BAD ROMANCE Lady Gaga (1 wk on #1)
2. BURN YOUR NAME Powderfinger (↓1)
3. REPLAY Iyaz (New)
4. FIREFLIES Owl City (↓1)
5. ART OF LOVE Guy Sebastian Feat. Jordin Sparks (↓1)


Avatar >Review

January 21, 2010

I got the chance to see my first movie in almost a year, and I chose Avatar to see what all the fuss was about. What I found was that it was a great movie experience, but not a great movie.

For the three of you who are yet to see it, the film is set on the alien moon Pandora. Corporal Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is brought there to control an ‘avatar’, a body of the native Na’vi people, to try and persuade the natives to move out of the way for a mine.

My favourite parts were where Sully learned the way of the Na’vi. To get an insight into this fictitious native culture was a fascinating experience, with absorbing colours, customs and panoramas. It was my first non-IMAX documentary 3D film. I didn’t find the 3D all that amazing, but maybe that’s the point. It certainly added the sense of depth that James Cameron was aiming for. However, much of the film’s storyline was clichéd. The characters lacked complexity, the acting (apart from Worthington) was predictable and the storyline lacked originality. There is also a distinct lack of subtlety in dealing with themes of economic exploitation, the environment and even the war on terror. This is certainly a groundbreaking film in terms of the special effects and technology, but little else.

However, what was interesting was seeing Cameron’s view of god on Pandora. The Divine for the Na’vi people was wrapped up in Pandora itself. It is the spirit of the land which controls the life on the moon. But when Sully calls on this god to help in their time of need Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) states that, “Our great Mother doesn’t take sides. She protects only the balance of life”. How different is this from the God of the Bible? That god is not personal with whom you can relate to. That god is not loving, only coldly concerned for the balance of life, i.e. the environment. It is also a limited god as she is only located on Pandora, otherwise she would have saved earth along time ago. In contrast, the God of the Bible is personal, willing to know and relate to us by his word. He is not limited in that the whole universe is his. And he is loving, demonstrating his love in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). He has taken our side, the side of those who trust in him for forgiveness. As much as I am all for caring for the environment, I would not want to swap the God who knows and loves me for the Mother of Pandora.

See this review on



January 21, 2010

I think we’re finally feeling like we’re on holidays. Although College broke up in late November family illness, baby issues, writing talks etc have made the last couple of months really tough. But we’re finally doing small holiday-type things like visiting the local pool or going to the beach. That summer/holiday feeling has finally begun.

One thing (among many) I’ve found hard is not being able to help those around us. With lots of friends moving and with others on holidays I would have love to help more with moving or had people over for dinner. But we just haven’t been in a position to do so and the couple of times I have helped others move it has been quite costly to my family that day. I guess it’s just not the time to be helpful and trust that God will provide for the needs of others without me.

However, reading a bit of the Bible this morning was timely reminder:

  • Romans 5:3-5 – we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

How comforting to know that hard times are not meaningless but are being used by God to give us hope, the certain expectation of God’s love. I look forward to looking back at this time and seeing how God used it so that I trust him and depend on him more deeply.


CMS Summer School – Senior High

January 16, 2010

At the start of the year I gave six talks for the Year 11-12 (Senior High) programme at CMS Summer School. The theme of the week was “Jesus….   really.” We looked at John’s account of Jesus’ life and I asked questions including What is your saviour / solution / hope / life and challenged the group if Jesus really is the answer to these questions in their lives. Cathy Sampson wrote on the vibe of the group here.


Two things that struck me over the week were:

– How Jesus can become dull in our thinking. It was great fun to preach on episodes in John like Jesus feeding the 5000 or raising Lazarus from the dead, which many of the students would have heard 100 times before. However, the goal was not just to be reminded of the story but to see who Jesus is through them. Hopefully, it was helpful in getting to know the one we follow better, and

– How God works through weakness. These talk came at a really bad time for us as a family with wife not 100% and daughter still not settling well. As a result my head and energy was not full in gear to give a series of talks. Also, the directors were first-timers and were nervous about the week. But on both fronts God proved faithful, allowing the week not only to run smoothly but effectively and my talks seemed well-received and God was a work challenging us to trust Jesus more.


Top 20 singles for 2009 – Part II

January 1, 2010

Lots to celebrate today:

This is The Ton’s 100th post!

It’s a new year/decade.

The Top Ten singles on The Ton chart can be revealed. (Click here for 11-20)

10. BREAKEVEN – The Script

The countdown kicks off with a touch of the Irish. (4 weeks on #1)

9. MILLION DOLLAR BILL – Whitney Houston

Whitney’s second single is smooth and soulful and she sounds like she’s having so much fun. (4 weeks on #1)

8. CHASE THAT FEELING – Hilltop Hoods

Not often does hip hop appear this high at the end of the year. These guys are just good at what they do. (4 weeks on #1)

7. LIKE IT LIKE THAT – Guy Sebastian

I’m all for songs that are fun and are great to sing along to in the car. Enter: Guy Sebastian. (4 weeks on #1)

6. BATTLEFIELD – Jordin Sparks

Second-best power ballad of the year. Another one for the solo car trip. (3 weeks on #1)


Easily the best video of the year (Kanye was right). Whenever this song came on the radio it made me smile. (4 weeks on #1)

4. THE FEAR – Lily Allen

Very catchy, apt but not too rude, well produced, great vocal performance – Lily at her best. (4 weeks on #1)

3. I LOOK TO YOU – Whitney Houston

I didn’t think much of this song at first, but after hearing Whitney’s thoughts on the song during her interview with Oprah and hearing the song in the context of the whole album, it made sense. Through her ups and downs Whitney still knows where to look. (6 weeks on #1)

2. LET IT ROCK – Kevin Rudolf ft Lil Wayne

This song from right at the start of the year was an inspired fusion of club & hip hop. The track is powerful all the way and the clip has lasers; what more could you ask for. (6 weeks on #1)

1. HALO – Beyonce

This year’s #1 goes to Beyonce. A superbly written song that starts low and moody, then builds and builds right through to the end of the chorus. Beyonce is a the top of her game with her vocal performance too. (7 weeks on #1)