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The Sunday Summary [11-26]

Wow, it’s hard to believe that we’re already half way through the year. I’ve felt like I’ve grown a huge amount already, but then I still have so much further to go; the growth has revealed other flaws that I’ve not previously noticed, or given enough attention to… My time in Hong Kong has been très busy, and you can see that by both the length and content of this loong Sunday Summary.

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The Sunday Summary [11-22]

This week started alright, before sharply falling and then rising up again slowly.

Monday morning, I got an hour off to recover from the weekend. At night I missed out on catching up with Geoff because of his college work, but I spent the time resting and recovering a bit more from the weekend.

Tuesday was the killer day. There were some problems with our new email system where people were upset. It brought up past issues with church technology and it’s past implementations, which had nothing to do with me, and felt like they laid blame on me, whether they meant it or not. Now I must admit that I’m a bit of a “blame monger” i.e. I seem to look for the blame in most things; where it rests, what was the cause of the confrontation etc etc. I’m not sure why, but whenever people seem to have a problem and approach me about it, I always seem to get on the defensive, seemingly subconsciously. So that pretty much ruined my Tuesday.. It was such a rough confrontation that I was almost in tears… and fragile for the rest of the day. In the evening it was my turn to cook dinner, so it was off to Coles to grab some ingredients for a prawn & pea risotto, which was delicious!! I spent the rest of the evening tweaking my parents new laptops.

Wednesday was a fairly good, quiet one. In the afternoon I made some physical changes to the church by swapping the projectors in the main hall because the main one had a yellow tinge to it. It was quite an involved job, especially since I did it with no help. After work, I got home to see my folks and deliver their laptops, before heading to growth group where we studied some more Matthew

Thursday night college was alright. We looked at the resurrection and the Holy Spirit, before our lack-lustre peer group on the biblical theology of the Sabbath. One of the guys that was supposed to be leading left early because he felt sick, so the rest of us had to work through without much direction. Rather than looking at the biblical theology of things, we looked at the passages almost solely, trying to understand them as individual passages, rather than threading a biblical theological thread through them.

Friday was again quiet, but a little tough to concentrate on proper work… It was good to get back into touch football after a couple weeks worth of breaks. I scored a try early on in the piece; a good stride down the left hand wing, off a ball from Mike. At SALT for supper, some of the kids had brought some sarsparilla, some chinotto, and some vanilla coke; all black in color. When I put them out, I did so alternately, making for a good troll on the kids after coke.

Saturday was an extremely busy day with 3 engagements to get to. The first was Equip Women’s Convention where we had to be in at Sydney Harbour Convention Centre at 7:30am. I picked up Alfie, Tim & Jack and we made our way out there. Basically our job was to prepare nametags and booklets, heard women to the auditorium for the talks, collect donations for morning tea, and then the big task of getting roughly 3,500 women to 6 different electives, including distribution of around 1,500 booklets at various entrance points. I enjoyed my time there, seeing many people that I knew from various Christian circles, as well as a whole punch of faces that I knew from seeing them around, but don’t actually know them. I can say that was really quite impressed with how many beautiful Christian women are out there, and would take the time out to attend such a conference, though I do find it a bit of a shame, for me, that the majority of them look to be married or engaged. I would like to hope that I’d find a wife out of a bunch of women like them one day… After dropping off the guys at the end of the long haul, I headed over to Pennant Hills for Jorge & Claire’s Engagement Party, which seemed to be in full swing, for some delicious gourmet foods, and good company. After a quick nap at home, it was time to get back on the party wagon at Alex Trevena’s 21st, with more good food and company.

Today I was meant to meetup with Nic, but since he had such a late night, we called it off. I helped Jase film a little movie in the hope of winning him a new phone, before heading to Macquarie Centre to see Fast & Furious 5; a good movie, with a nice twist, bringing it to a level of Fast & Furious meets Oceans 11. If this movie is the final in the series, then it wraps up well, however, like most movies these days, there was no definitive end with 100% closure, leaving an optional sequel.
At graceat6 tonight, James Davidson spoke from Luke 11:1-13 which is the Lord’s Prayer. From this he drew a number of conclusions:

  1. We need to remember that God is our Father
  2. We are under His authority, yet, He is not like human fathers who are ‘evil’ in a self centered sense, rather He is tender hearted, generous and caring.

  3. We are to pray that God our Father is increasingly known and revered
  4. He is hallowed; meaning that He is completely unique and set apart, but that we should truly know Him as He actually is, and that His kingdom is progressively made known, not just in non-Christian hearts, but also in our own, so that the desires of our hearts move from being just centered around ourselves and our friends, rather around the glory of God.

  5. That we continue to ask God.
  6. Not in a nagging way, but with complete reliance on Him, persevering and letting God be the one who answers our prayers.

  7. Practically
  8. Seeking daily bread both in the provision of food to physically strengthen, but also in giving us eternal rest at the end of our days. Continuing to seek and ask for forgiveness Asking that we are not led into temptation or hard testing.

After church I got a chance to catch a few people, including Josh Charles who has stumbled upon this blog. It was encouraging to hear that he does read it, and finds it helpful/interesting to see how Christians are fairly normal, which is one of my main reasons for writing. Although I am also keen for discussion and feedback on how things are going, and that’s something I do lack on this blog.

The upcoming week should be kinda busy with a conference I need to organise for next Monday: N E X U S for those that are coming, it should be enjoyable. I’m also down to be taking a few photos for a Japan fundraiser we’re holding next Saturday, 4th June at church, called Jam4Japan. I’ll get some up here, but if you’re in the Carlingford area, and/or keen to travel there, then please do come along, should be a good evening with good tunes: 7pm – 10pm at St Paul’s Carlingford, entry is $10, with all proceeds going to relief in northern Japan.

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The Sunday Summary [11-11]

Monday night I went to the movies with Geoff. We went to see I Am Number Four; a movie with an intriguing trailer that somewhat sparked interest. The story and plot development left many things in the dark for the majority of the movie. With mixed amounts of alien phenomena, conspiracy theory, teenage angst, brooding and ‘love’; it felt like we were watching a combination of Smallville and Twilight. As the end credits rolled, we realised why it felt like Smallville, as Alfred Gough and Miles Millar; the writers also wrote Smallville.

On Tuesday night our family headed down to Epping for dinner to celebrate my brother in law: Arthur’s birthday. Mum had made a booking at the restaurant at the Epping Club, but when we turned up, we found out that the restaurant was closed, so we ended up heading around to an Italian restaurant on Beecroft Road in the Genesis building. They have all-you-can-eat pasta on Tuesday and Wednesday nights for $15 per person. They have a number of different pastas, or risotto that you choose, and then you choose the sauce that you wish to accompany your pasta, and the chef prepares it for you, on a platter with up to four different pastas. Also on offer is a reduced menu, with about 4 mains on it. I went with the char-grilled rib eye fillet of steak with hand cut chips and vegetables. There was quite a bit to eat, and I didn’t get all the way through it, but the chips weren’t quite cooked well either..

On Wednesday night at Growth Group, we gained an additional member, and were still down on numbers because of illness and timetable clashes. This week we looked at Colossians 2:1-15 which speaks about Paul and his struggles for the saints in Colossae and Laodicea; his yearnings to see them face to face, but more importantly that they would be built up and grounded in Christ Jesus. He reminds and encourages them, and us, that they have been brought into the Kingdom by the promises of God, which are fulfilled by Christ and his circumcision.

Thursday morning I updated my iPhone to iOS 4.3, which enables personal hotspots, amongst other things. I gave it a good test on the train in to college that night; at first it didn’t seem to work, but trying it over bluetooth seemed to kickstart it, though it made my phone quite hot. College was a pretty good and interesting night. We looked at the complexity and unity of the Bible, and then at promise and fulfilment in the scriptures. During group time we discussed the biblical theology of the fall in Genesis 3:1-7. It was both confusing and interesting; my group had some unusual observations and questions which I wouldn’t think to ponder or ask… On the train on the way back home I got personal hotspot working over wifi only, and that solved the heat problem, albeit a little slower.

Friday was a really laxed day, in fact the whole work week was quite restful and quiet, which is a relief after the last few weeks. Touch footy was pretty fun, despite not scoring a try this week, bringing my 7 weeks of consistent try-scoring to a close. We had a new guy Ryan show up and join us. Hopefully he’ll come back next week. I also got to premiere my KYCK ’09 video at SALT, which I produced during the week.

On Saturday I went to Chatswood for yum cha with some of my relatives who were in town for a wedding, and my folks before they jet off over to Israel for a biblical tour. I took the opportunity to wander down to Chatswood Chase to check out the Macbook Air’s which I’m considering a purchase, you can read my thoughts here. For most of the evening, I worked on a video project for Mike and his SALT talks for term 2. It’s coming along well and I look forward to when it’s finished.

This morning I met up with Nic Trevena to read the bible, chat over it, catch up and pray. We looked through Acts 3 & 4, and talked about the Holy Spirit and His ability to enable believers to speak the word of God with boldness, as well as the community of the believers.
Tonight graceat6 was a great night. It was an evangelistic service with Evan McFarlane speaking from John 2:1-12; which speaks of Jesus‘ first miracle, turning water into wine. Evan spoke about the passage in a different way from which I’ve previously thought about it, speaking of how Jesus thought about His wedding, that of Him and the church. Of the price that He needed to, and did, pay in order to be united with His bride, the church, which was death on the cross.
It was also great to see plenty of new faces in the crowd, hear some great prayers and get up as part of a growth group to introduce ourselves, especially with a baby photo flashed up on the screen, which got a great chuckle. For those that missed it, want to see it again, or aren’t at graceat6, here it is:
Baby SLaw

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Peaktime glory

I find it pretty annoying when I’m on the train home to see all this glorious light and the way it mixes through the environment when I don’t have a way to capture it in a decent way ie with my DSLR. Here’s three shots I managed on my iPhone on Friday.

The weather on the way home was phenomonal; partly overcast with dark grey clouds coming in from the east and clear skies in the west as the sun sunk into the horizon throwing out a magnificent reddy orange glow. Oh what a glorious creation we are gifted with to enjoy.

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Sometimes

Sometimes I feel like this, other times I wish I did…

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Car phone??

As I was on the way home on the train tonight I got a call. Thanks to OS 3.0 I was informed that it was Belinda or Yip Law and they were calling from the car.
Turns out that it was my Dad and indeed he was calling from the car, parked near the train station, but how did my iPhone know that much??

I have my Google contacts synced to my iPhone via Nuevasync. Somewhere along the line it had registered both my Mum and my Dad with the same mobile number, except that it had registered Mum as having that number as car, so it took that as the preferential location and wha-la!! my parents seem to have a functioning car phone….

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iPhone OS 3.0

The Internets are a buzz today with iPhone OS 3.0 going live via iTunes. The software brings a number of features that were lacking in previous versions of the software, and then a little cream on top of that.

So the main features that are particularly useful include:

  • the ability to cut/copy/paste both text and images
  • the spotlight functionality to search the entire phone
  • ability to use the phone in landscape mode for SMS and emails
  • a voice memo application

Some lesser known features include:

  • (carrier specific) Internet tethering, i.e. allowing a computer to connect to the Internet via the phone
  • notes sync, allowing you to sync notes on you phone to programs like Mail and Outlook
  • IMAP search, so you can search your Internet mail account
  • calDAV, which allows you to sync to Internet calendars like google calendar.

There are plenty of people talking of the pros and cons so far, and a few who have thrown up hints, tips and hacks as . I’ll be interested to see how this plays out with Nuevasync which I currently use to sync my google calendars, and also Optus‘ rediculous decision to charge extra for tethering.

Are you on iPhone 3.0 yet?? Any thoughts, improvements, tips, tricks or insights?

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We Love

On Saturday I got along to We Love Sounds at the Hordern Pavillion and surrounds. This would have been my fifth, sixth or seventh year there. My main drawcard for heading along being James Zabiela.

I rocked up at about 3:15pm to find the place already busy, having started at midday, with plenty more people pouring in through the gates. After grabbing a a handout with set times and a map, it was straight into the Renaissance Arena inside the Royal Hall of Industries where Grafton Primary were hammering out some of their tunes.

After a quick trip into the Armin Only Arena, which seemed already packed and very dark, it was time to boogie on down to Dirty South back in the RenaissanceArena. I’m not sure what the organisers were thinking with the Armin Only Arena, because the southern entrance led towards the girls bathrooms AND a bar, creating a chaotic crowd at the intersection.

Dirty South was playing some great tunes, his brand of electro house even had me moving and grooving around. Kissy Sell Out were next up, and definitely not my cup of tea, so it was time for another adventure…. I wandered over to The Forum which housed the Lost Baggage Arena. Anja Schnieder was on the decks playing some pretty groovy minimal progressive techno. I started busting out my shuffle on the mezzanine floor, grabbing the attention of the bartenders, a few guys and several girls. Anja played an enjoyable set, however as 5:30pm approached, so did the anticipation for Zabiela. Upon re-entry to the Renaissance Arena, it was clear that the crowd wasn’t into Kissy Sell Out as half the hall was emptied out. As James Zabiela started off, the area was quite empty, and so he seemed to start out slowly…. It turns out that his computer was playing up according to his Twitter

Played at a big rave in Sydney. Computer was glitching. Was in the dark throughout most my set. NOW they figure out the lights :-/

But Zabs has not disappointed me each time I’ve seen him play and this was no exception. He seemed to span plenty of styles; with the assistance of my iPhone and Shazam, I was able to pick these tracks (plus some resourceful internetting):

  • BjorkDull Flame of Desire (Modeselektor Remix for Girls)
  • Black Rock featuring Debra AndrewBlue Water (unsure of which mix)
  • Lee CoombsFuture Sound of Retro (2008 Remix)
  • Guy JLamur (Henry Saiz Remix)
  • Underworld 2 Months Off (Tong & Rogers Wonderland Mix)
  • Rennie FosterDevils Water (JZ Edit)
  • RadioheadReckoner (Zabiela’s Tweezers on a Towel Rail Rmx)

I’m sure there were plenty more tracks off of his Renaissance Masters Series too.

Amongst my circle of clubbing friends, it’s customary to give a courtesy call to others not present at a gig, so I made my calls and was called a few times. John was the most receptive, he was starting to dance around in his kitchen with a beer in his other hand whilst hearing Zabiela over the phone, and that was just the first call…. Pushack was the other big responder over in England, he was listening via John over Skype, then listened to the voicemail I’d left him and then called back later in the set for an update.

After that epic effort from Zabiela it was time for Laidback Luke to play and me to have a seat…. His bigroom Swedish House Mafia style music wasn’t for me, so I made my way back over to The Forum to watch Popof punch out some minimal techno on his Korg and wait for 16 Bit Lolitas to play. By this time the room was starting to clear out, so I boogied for a while, till my knee decided it had had enough by twinging and twisting a little and sending me home.

An enjoyable day overall, would definitely rate up there with other We Love Sounds that I’ve been to.

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iPhone Visual Voicemail

I was delighted to see that visual voicemail had finally made its way down-under today as reported by Gizmodo and officially at Vodafone, a fairly big plus for purchasing the iPhone.

But this is a bittersweet discovery, at least for the moment (I hope), since prior to my iPhone purchase, I was a Vodafone user. I made a switch over to Optus when the pricing showed them as a better option in pricing at the time – bundled features etc etc. Overall the changeover wasn’t too bad. I have noticed that Optus coverage in my area (Pennant Hills) is poor. On average I get 2 bars of reception and little to no 3G reception at all. This means that phone calls are patchy and drop out quite a bit and data transmission is very poor – 0.03 Mbps compared to 1.84Mbps when on 3G in Sydney Metro.

Come on Optus, lift your game, get this visual voicemail and improve the reception in my area!!!