What a Morning

We had the morning tea today for pastors and leaders. (See below) It was excellent.

Noel’s performance is simple in that it uses no costumes, tricky lighting, no sets or amplification. It is very minimalist in it’s staging but it captures attention brilliantly.

Already a number of the pastors who were present are thinking of ways to use Noel to reach their communities. Several are looking at hooking into events in their local parks.

It was a morning that was well orth the effort.

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Presenting The Gospel of Mark

I’m still trying to get over this virus that’s been attacking my body over the past week, while at the same time arranging a morning tea for 25 or so pastors and church leaders.

Tomorrow morning they’ll arrive at my place of work, The Bible Society of Western Australia, to experience a presentation of the Gospel of Mark. It’ll be presented by a guy named Noel Christian. You could say that Noel ‘recites’ the gospel but then you’d miss the essence of what he does.

His script is purely and simply the book of Mark, but Noel brings it to life in a very exciting way. He uses the King James Version, which normally would cause me to wonder about the presentation’s validity for today’s audience, but he manages to create a dramatic masterpiece. He holds people on the edge of their seats.

When he has presented it to secular audiences they have been amazed and made comments like, “Jesus is a more interesting guy than I realised” and even ” I didn’t know that the Bible was a spiritual book till now”.

Noel has been working within churches but I’m hoping to find more and more secular venues for him to perform. The idea of getting pastors etc. involved is to try to use local churches to facilitate this.

I know it’s long, but here’s a story that Noel quotes:

Once upon a time …

Early in 2002, Noel Christian was invited to present a number of short works in pubs for the wa fringe as part of the Festival Of Perth. At the time, he was well known in the secular world as a story-teller, oral poet and performer, and among Christian communities as a Biblical Storyteller. His sacred work had not, however, crossed the secular divide. On this occasion, he offered to present three secular pieces and an extract from The Gospel of Mark. The Festival had no objection, and so late one evening in January he delivered the opening chapters of Mark to about a hundred hardened drinkers, bohemians and artists in an inner city pub. This is what happened:

Three people shouted and yelled throughout the performance. Their language was intemperate and their attitude was aggressive.

Ten to fifteen people tried to hush them.

One person shouted them down because she wanted to listen.

A number of people smoked their cigarettes and sipped their drinks politely but were not interested in the performance.

Eighty people neither smoked nor drank, but sat breathless with fascination as they listened.

Three people came up afterward and said that the Bible was always worth hearing.

Five people came up afterward, each privately, and asked for assistance with prayer, spiritual guidance, and an insight into healing.

The gathering that night included artists, public servants, pagans, prostitutes, drug dealers, office workers, goths, poets, rock musicians, bikers, school teachers, building workers, the management team of WA Gay and Lesbian Pride, a Government Minister, and members of the Hotelier’s Association.

Hey, I know it’s short notice, but if you’re in the Perth area and want to be part of the morning tea, let me know. If you can’t make it but want to find out more, call me at The Bible Society in WA on (08) 9221 3488.

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People Just Like Us

All over the world people just like us

Are calling Your name, living in Your love

All over the world people just like us

Are following Jesus

We sang this song during our Sunday service and I couldn’t help thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if it wasn’t only people just like us that were following Jesus?”

Sure we have people from many walks of life in our churches, our fellowship has a very wide range of members, but there are still huge gaps among our churches in general. I’d love to see a wider mix of nationalities. I’d love to see broken people coming to know Jesus and having their lives transformed. I’d love to see more desperately poor people meeting Jesus. I’d love to see the sorts of people that Jesus mixed with while on earth meeting him today. Where are the prostitutes and tax collectors?

I love fellowshipping with people just like me but I’d love it even more if we were more effective in fellowshipping with people who are nothing at all like us, even if it is more uncomfortable at times.

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A Grand Reunion

We finished cycling across Australia on the 9th of October – over a month ago. Tonight we’re getting back together. Or at least a large percentage of us will be getting back together. The Western Australian contingent of our cross Australia trip is having a reunion.

So many of those who were on the trip have told me how difficult it has been to get used to ‘normal’ life since the trip ended. We were together for 32 days. We ate together – slept together (ie: we shared accommodation – not beds) – prayed together – went through tough times – went through wonderful times – shared scripture – shared our lives. Basically, we encountered ‘church’ for 32 days. We were cycling for a purpose beyond ourselvesand God was teaching us the stuff of life as we journeyed.

Of course we can’t spend our entire lives in that sort of environment – our legs would get very tired – not to mention our bottoms – but what can we take from that experience and put into our day to day routines?

I know part of the reason why people are finding it so difficult to get back to their old routines. For one, they’ve tasted true ‘fellowship of the saints’. Not that we called it that, we were just a bunch of people doing what God had asked of us – but isn’t that just the point?

I hope that we can all keep the momentum going. I hope that we don’t just assign what we experienced to a special place in history because the stuff of life was there. We need to separate the lessons from the situation in which they were taught and hang on to the lessons for dear life.

As for the reunion – I can’t wait.

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20 Things Guys Learn from Action Movies

While my mind is having a few days off, I thought I’d share this list of ’20 Things Guys Learn from Action Movies’ with you. It was emailed to me years ago.

1. No matter what my problem is, it’s the fault of someone other than myself, and the appropriate response is to find that person and kill him with my bare hands.

2 . To be truly attractive, a woman must wear high heels and an outfit so tight you can tell whether she’s cold or not from across the room.

3. There are two kinds of women in the world: The type that want to go to bed with you, and the type that want to kill you. Both types are physically attractive and under 25 years old.

4. If I rudely argue with my boss in front of my co-workers, not only won’t he fire me, but he will gain a profound respect for me.

5. If I can find an important enough mission, it will supersede my obligations to perform household chores, bathe, and call the next day.

6. If I go without bathing, swear a lot, and treat women badly, they will adore me.

7. If a woman tries to clean a bullet wound and I curse in pain, she will fall in love with me.

8. Anyone who isn’t a cop, mercenary soldier, and/or private investigator is a homosexual. Or at least a sissy.

9. If I have a prolonged fist-fight with another guy and neither of us dies, we will become best friends.

10.My arch-enemy will bear an uncanny resemblance in age and bearing to my father, and he will make it clear that he has gained a deep respect for me before I kill him with my bare hands.

11. When I shoot people, they will die quickly and cleanly, and I will never be arrested or troubled by their widowed wife and children. When people shoot me, however, I will at most receive a ‘flesh wound,’ which will be tended to by a beautiful woman.

12. If I’m white I will befriend at least one black guy, or one white guy if I’m black. If I am Latino the monster / villain will kill me halfway through the film, urging the hero to even greater levels of violence.

13. If an aged scientist is involved in any way, he will have a beautiful daughter who will gaze at me adoringly.

14. If royalty is involved, it will include a beautiful princess who will gaze at me adoringly.

15. If I have a kid partner, he will be tightly-muscled, clean-cut, and gaze at me adoringly.

16. If I am asked to compete against a world champion at any sport or game of any type, I will win. This will infuriate my opponent, who will then try to kill me.

17. If I am given a surprise attack, I will be attacked by only one or maybe two people at a time, and I will find that I am well-skilled in Karate and Jujitsu, and if all else fails, I will always have one last firearm hidden somewhere on my body.

18. If my opponent has a side-kick or henchman, he will never have a sensible name like ‘Rick,’ or ‘Steve.’

19. Beautiful women will frequently furrow their brows with concern and ask, “When’s the last time you got any sleep?” They will never ask when I last bathed or used the toilet, although I apparently never do those things either.

20. While chasing or fleeing from an enemy, I can drive anything with a motor recklessly at 100-130 miles per hour without a seatbelt, with ammunition filling the passenger seat, and nothing will fall out of place Also, no police will ever catch me; they’ll just look in amazement in my direction.

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