Blog Archive

Thursday, June 28, 2012

From the Wayside Chapel-Graham Long




Dear Inner Circle,

Becoming the people we would wish to be is always a slow process. 
I'll bet I've heard more renunciations of old ways than most. I'll bet I've heard 
more people swear off the drink or drugs or other addictions than most. 
But change never happens with one insight or one decision or one event. 
I think good habits are the greatest tool for character building and bad habits 
are the greatest weapon for the dissipation of ourselves. That's why I'm so 
impressed when I see someone replace destructive habits with habits that build
 and serve. One of our famous street drinkers has, for two years now, not 
had a drink. He has replaced habits that indulged and destroyed with habits 
that serve and build. This fellow is working full time and spends every weekend 
serving others at Wayside in the hope that he might help someone back to life
 and health.
Starting again from nowhere is a big ask of someone who has reached middle age
 and blown all of their savings in destructive behaviour. It is tough to build
 new relationships when a network of alliances have been built that co-operate
 and aide the person's self destruction. Every time I meet our former street
 drinker and see him smartly dressed and with his engaging eyes alight,
 I'm lifted and encouraged. Can you imagine the adjustments that had to be
 made when this fellow joined the workforce again after being drunk for so long?
 His new job required that he obtain a car and so he bought a pile of junk
 for next to nothing. This old car has been running on prayer for some time, 
held together by faith, rope and charity. The car died this week and as a result 
a good man and a good job looked set to become parted. Desperate to prevent 
this waste, I wrote to 4 people whom I knew to be generous and good people. 
It was cheeky of me but I asked each one to lend me $2,000 so that we could
 buy a car and preserve the job of this courageous man. Within hours, not only
 did I have the promise of $8,000 but one of these angels dropped his own car
 around to Wayside so that it could be used until we found the right car to buy!
 That beautiful angel is hiring a car to make do so that a brother that he has
 never met keeps his job and strengthens the habits that make him stronger and 
more alive. Tears are not far away as I recall the look on the face of the reformed drunk.
 He had no words because there are no words that could express what I saw on his 
face as he took the keys of a strangers car, given generously, given without strings, 
with $50 to put some petrol in the tank and an instruction not to panic in the
 event that an accident might happen. In the hard journey back to life and health, 
it sure helps to know that there are people in the world who will love and 
encourage and help.
Last week, one of our workers was phoned at 7am by the railways to say that
 a woman who was booked to travel to Brisbane had been put off the train 
because of her smell. How did this become the problem of the Wayside I hear 
you say? Countless phone calls over hours established that the woman has cerebral palsy
 and was wheelchair bound. She had no carer with her and had clearly
 soiled herself. 
How did she get to Sydney I hear you say? More hours of negotiation and
I approved
 the cost of an airfare to Brisbane still not sure how this became our problem.
 The airline needed to know what kind of chair with what kind of batteries etc etc.
 At the end of the day the airport phoned to say that the woman stunk so badly
they would not allow her onto a plane. Our worker phoned her partner to head
 out to the airport and shower the poor woman in the chair. I'll bet the partner was
 mystified about how this became our problem or how such a weird and
unromantic errand dropped out of the sky on a Sunday evening. It turned out that
 the lady had been so long in her own excrement that her skin had discoloured and split.
At about 5pm, the poor woman was on a flight to Brisbane and our worker
finished her day exhausted and exasperated for the sake of a woman she had
 never met. There seems to be a protocol with police, railways, larger charities
 and all kinds of groups that says that if a person fits nowhere and is the
 responsibility of no one, call The Wayside Chapel.
That's enough, thanks for being part of our inner circle,
Graham
PS This is my last chance to say to you before the 30th June, that this is the
 right moment to let your love of humanity reach down into your wallet.
 Find a charity that you trust (I know a good one) and make a donation in
the last moments of this financial year. Generosity is a good habit. If you'd
 like to donate to Wayside, you can do so here.

Rev Graham Long

Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
 
 Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information
 is important to us, as it is fundamental to the way we operate. All information
 is kept in the strictest confidence and is stored in a password secure database.
 Levels of access to information are determined by an authorised employee's specific
 need to do their job. Personal information collected by The Wayside Chapel is
 never sold or passed on in any way, shape or form to any other organisation or
 non-authorised person for any purpose. If you would like to seek access to,
or revise your personal information or feel that the information we currently
have on record is incorrect or incomplete, or you believe that the privacy of your
 personal information has been interfered with, please contact us. Our appointed
 Privacy Officer is Stephanie Guerin stephanie.guerin@thewaysidechapel.com

Monday, June 25, 2012

Passing of Sharon Russo

Today we attended the funeral of a dear friend Sharon Russo who died of cancer at the age of 59 last Saturday.
An amazing quiet unassuming lady who achieved much in her lifetime.
We attended Operas with Sharon as our companion on a number of occasions.
She will be sadly missed by her many friends and colleagues and especially her family.
A Christian lady who is now free of suffering and at peace with her Lord.
Sharon worked for Uni Sa and for the moment you can read about her achievements on the link below.
Her funeral was held at St Peter's Anglican Church Glenelg.

http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/Homepage.asp?Name=sharon.russo

More Photography from a Moving Vehicle

On this last weekend we were once again in Renmark South Australia.
The journey there takes about 3 hours from our Adelaide home and it is slowed down by speed limits as we pass major roadworks on Adelaide's South Road.
Some awesome engineeering is going on there and these huge bridge/overpass structures loom above as you drive pass.
Just a few days ago a motorist had a lucky escape when something dropped through the front window of his car.
This is the sort of thing one needs to photograph if you are in a passenger seat and passing by.








The subject is just a great photographic subject.
Photos taken on Panasonic Lumix compact camera DMC-FGS62.Images are straight from camera with no editing.Could be improved.

See link to previous post on this subject.

 http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/photography-from-moving-vehicle.html



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tree of Life Training Videos

I have enjoyed another great day today with Rob Ferguson and Tien as we continue to produce training material for use in Africa(Burundi).
We value prayers of Christians who have a heart for mission.
See my earlier post on Tree of Life Ministries in Adelaide South Australia.
We will finish filming the series soon and then into editing etc.
Below are some pics I took today.







Thursday, June 14, 2012

From the Wayside Chapel


Dear Inner Circle,
Human beings are hard wired as social. The minimum number in the fundamental
 human unit is two. So, the word "I", which is the smallest word in the English
 language, is also one of the most misleading and the one most in need of review. 
The word "I" could only ever refer to half of something, at most.
Are you still reading? I'm going out of my way today to provoke some
 serious thinking. What I want to say is simple yet counter-cultural. 
In the West, we totally buy the myth of the "power of one". 
This is a powerful and seductive myth. Most of our media, especially 
our movies, presuppose that some hero will fight against the odds to
 bring justice to the world. It makes for good entertainment but it's a 
fairy tale. In reality, every success is a shared success and every 
failure is a shared failure. We belong to one another and we sink or swim,
 together.
If you think that I'm saying that most of the enterprise that we know by
 the term "psychology" is based on a fundamental misunderstanding
 of human nature, you're clearly paying attention. Looking for loose
 screws in individual heads is a fairly unfruitful exercise. It is an 
activity that keeps a lot of people employed, but it is an activity 
that is largely blind to the liberating power of belonging. I'm a voice
 crying in the wilderness, proclaiming, "What ever happened to 
normal variation in human nature?" When did everything become
 part of some syndrome that required expert help and often, medication?
 However, I seek to address an issue far deeper than the medicalisation 
of everything.
Deep in our history, assumptions have developed that find their way 
into our foundational belief. In that body of belief by which we judge
 all other belief is "the power of one" and with it, a commitment to loneliness.
 Loneliness is the pandemic of our age. No matter if we survey the top,
 the middle or the bottom of the social pile; isolation is consistently
 the greatest need identified. It is the goal of much of the helping 
profession to help people feel more comfortable in their isolation.
 Not just the helping professions but endless religious experts and 
gurus of all shapes and sizes seek to bring the kind of comfort that 
comforts but leaves people still alone. The medical approach
 requires pills mostly; the counsellors work with feelings; the religious talk 
about experience but it is all variation on the same theme. It's all about the self.
The most urgent need I know of is for us to discover the power of community.
 The power of presence is not a power within but the power of “with”. We need
 to call people out of the familiar spot where they are the ultimate authority
 on all things. The sense of entitlement that I see every day is a feature of
 damage but it is not just with the poor. On my way home last night I saw
 someone sit on their horn for minutes because the car in front refused to turn
 left in a lane where left or straight were permitted. The entitled person on
 the horn was in a Mercedes E class so I expect that they weren't homeless. 
If only we could be called out of the righteous bubbles in which we live to 
the wide open spaces of community. Imagine if every time we heard the word, 
"I", we noted a word of connection; of meeting; of relation.
All of this in order for me to say that the recent announcement by the 
Government, that it is going to screen all three year olds for mental illness,
 sends a cold shudder up my spine. This is searching for lose screws in 
individual heads on a grand scale. Who is going to do this work I wonder? GPs?
 Psychologists? With what acknowledged scale will they measure the mental
 health of a three year old? How many more kids will grow up on medication
 as a result of this initiative? I promise you that a child that grows up in that 
way learns just a few things; there is something wrong; the cause is in my head;
 I am deficient in some way.
I don't often rant in my notes but I don't think I can use words more efficiently 
than this.
Ooops! Our most important appeal of the year is our Winter Appeal which
 is happening right now. I know there are tens of thousands of charities in
 this State and that you are approached by many good causes. If you haven't
 supported a charity this year, I'd love you to consider giving us a hand. 
You can do that right here. In all my notes I never mention money except
 once at Christmas and once at this time of year. I hope you forgive my cheek.
thank you so much for being part of this inner circle,
Graham
Rev Graham Long
Pastor
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
 
 Donate to our Christmas appeal
 Protecting your privacy and the confidentiality of your personal information
 is important to us, as it is fundamental to the way we operate. 
All information is kept in the strictest confidence and is stored in a 
 password secure database. Levels of access to information are determined
 by an authorised employee's specific need to do their job. Personal information
 collected by The Wayside Chapel is never sold or passed on in any way, shape 
or form to any other organisation or non-authorised person for any purpose. If you
 would like to seek access to, or revise your personal information or feel that the 
information we currently have on record is incorrect or incomplete, or you 
believe that the privacy of your personal information has been interfered with,
 please contact us. Our appointed Privacy Officer is
 Stephanie Guerin  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Debra Byrne-Ripe

This morning after reading a review on Debra Byrne's performance at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Lesley and I got ready in time enough to see her 11am performance.
The reviews were warranted.
A very special  lady who has long been a household name in our generation in Australian Music.
We purchased her Autobiography in which she shares both her heartaches and triumphs.
For us "I dreamed a dream" was special and so was "memory" and many others.
A monologue about her personal struggles and pointing to hope with brilliant piano accompiament was very moving.
The encore was "Both sides now."
The audience at 11am was mainly older people and a bit subdued but appreciative just the same.
Well worth seeing this show if it comes to a venue near you.
The band was very good, especially Daniel the pianist who had more work to do.
Below is a link to one of the reviews.
She did thank God for where she is today. We do to.

http://aussietheatre.com.au/reviews/debra-byrne-shines-bright-in-ripe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=debra-byrne-shines-bright-in-ripe

Also below is a link to wikipedia about Debra.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debra_Byrne

The New Man Tape 2 F C Hunting part 1.

This is a transcript from a tape by Frank Hunting.
I am in the process of typing this a bit each day.
I thought I would share what I have done so far.
Frank's teaching on the New Man is life changing if we claim it and practice it for ourselves.

Geoff Thompson

"Therefore if any man is in Christ,he is a new creation.
The old has passed away.
Behold the new has come."

If you were to read that in the J B Phillips translation,this would be the translation.

"For if any man be in Christ, he becomes a new person altogether.
The past is finished and gone,everything has become fresh and new. '

For thousands of Christians that is simply not true.

Very little, for them, has become new.

During the week I read that it is estimated that nearly 90% of all Christians never experience the abundant or victorious life.

And that  includes (I've finished the quote, this is me)

 Ministers!

leaders in our Churches!

teachers!

Elders!

Deacons!

whoever!

We shall never begin to understand why this unhappy state of affairs exists until we begin to ask the right questions and come up with the right answers..

Why are Christians not becoming new people?

New persons altogether as the scriptures say they will?

If they are in Christ!

Now there are various reasons for this.

There are scores of thousands of Christians who do not even know that they can become new people in Christ.

They simply have never heard of it!

Certainly vast numbers of Christians,if they have happened to have  been told that they may

able to become a new person altogether,

have not been told how to become a new person in Christ.

By and large, we have prided ourselves as being Bible teaching Churches.

Yet there are people who have been 30,40, 50 years regularly coming to Church to worship,

every sunday morning,

 and they have never been shown, how to become a new person in Jesus Christ.

Some of them have been told that they ought to be new people,in Christ,

indeed some of them,

some of us,

really need to become new people in Christ, but haven't been told.

Nobody has spelled it out.

Just how does a person become a new person in the Lord Jesus Christ?

So the first thing to notice is the most obvious, but it's strange how blind we can be to the obvious!

And it's this.

That if you and I are going to become new persons in Jesus Christ,
then the most obvious thing is,

 that if that is going to happen,

we must bring to Jesus what we are!

We must bring to Him,

 each one of us ,

the things to Him that need changing!

If we have been  or are badly relating to someone,

If we have or are , being hard in our attitudes to someone,

If we have or are being critical,-it may never be spoken, but if that;s the attitude that we've got in

our minds, that is the way that we think about people or someone!

If we have fears!

If we have envy, or jealousy or guilt, these are the things that are wrong in us!

And these are the things that we ought to be taking to Jesus!

But right at this point we do something,so often, that effectively, prevents us from taking what we

are to Him,

He who is able to make people new.

And this is how we do it.

When we become conscious that we have some of those things I've just listed,

when we realise that that is a part of me, what am I prone to do?

I'm prone to justify that feeling!

I'm prone  to justify that hard attitude!

prone to find some reason so I can excuse me from being that kind of a person!

Oh, I can always find a very good reason, why I am entitled to have that attitude!

To have that feeling!

to think that way!

about that person!

 or about those people!

or about that situation!

So if I pretend it doesn't matter,

or I blame somebody else,

or something,

there's no chance of Jesus ever making me new!

And so we stay exactly as we've always been!

If we are a worrier, we stay a worrier!

If we are harsh in our criticisms, we stay harsh in our criticisms!

If we are an extrovert and we are dominating in our attitudes to people, we stay that way!

If we are full of fears, we stay crippled by our fears!

The reason being

 we don't get them to Jesus!

If we are weak and wobbly as people, we stay weak and wobbly as Christians.

Nothing changes.

Why?

Because we are not getting the thing that needs to be changed to our Saviour.

So that leads me to say the next thing.

Often we are strangely blind to the very thing that most needs to be changed in our makeup.

We are strangely blind to that need.

And we are strangely blind to our need to get that to Jesus.

For instance if we happen to be a worrier we say "I am a worrier by nature!"

"I can't help it,

it's my nature to worry!"

"I always do it!

I'm stuck with it!"

Now doing this, we never see two things about our worrying.

Both of them totally wrong.

NO 1. Worry is one of the worst sins because it doubts God!

Oh, we wont face that one will we?

It says God is dead!

It says God is powerless!

It says God is useless!

The second thing that's wrong about worry is that it says that Jesus has no answer

to my worrying,

 and that isn't true!

We may for instance be given to criticising.

Now we do it so often, it has in fact, over the years,become  a deeply entrenched habit!

Indeed we are often doing it and we are not aware of it.

Again there are two things wrong with this.

It too is one of the worst sins.

Now you listen, I am talking to you good people and you and I are Christians!

That true?

And I'll tell you why this is one of the worst sins.

It's a terrible sin against Love.

And God is Love.

And we are sinning against Him.

When we have this in our lives.

In the 2nd place because we justify our criticising in various ways,

we never take it to Jesus so we stay stuck with it!

and we really become and are, unlovely people.

albeit we are Christians.

The same is true of fear, fear makes pygmies of us.

It makes us mice instead of men.

But fears can be very powerful, they may also become very frightening.

And it;s very easy

 because of those two things

to think or feel that you can do nothing about them!

But Jesus has the answer to all our fears!

To every single one of them He has the answer!

If we learn, how to take them to Him. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Slum Life Rising

I have reported on the life of the UNOH organisation before on this blog.
UNOH's founder Ash Barker has now written a book which was his thesis for his Phd.
Follow the link below to see how Christianity Today has reported on the work of UNOH and the book.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/thisisourcity/7thcity/largestslum.html?start=1

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Call of Africa



Since I was a young boy I have had a fascination with Africa.
Its wildlife and in general  everything about it.
I had a n Aunty who lived in East Africa for a time and I had an enviable collection of stamps at the time from Uganda,Tanganyika and Kenya.
I found a book she had in her library called "Up Country Swahili" and as a 12 year old started to try to learn this language.
I used to collect as much information as I could about African Wildlife and kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings.
I reckoned that I knew at one stage just about  every African Animal as some kids know their football players.
Walt Disney in those early years started producing some great wildlife films.
My imagination was captured by "The Living Desert","The Vanishing Prairie" and "The African Lion".
So I have long had an interest in Africa.
One of the best books I have found, and there are many, on African Wildlife Photography, is called "African Safari-The Ultimate Wildlife and Photographic Adventure." by P. Jay Fetner.
It was first printed in 1987 and I am not sure if there are any subsequent editions.
It is set in the pre digital era but is an amazing resource of not only information and photos about animals and birds, but many diverse extracts from literature about Africa and wildlife.
It has location maps and comprehensive info about what,how ,when and where.
You can search out copies on the internet.
See links about the book below.

http://www.amazon.com/African-Safari-Ultimate-Photographic-Adventure/dp/0312009690

There is one customer review on this link that says it all.

So far I have only been able to photograph African Animals in Zoos and Wildlife parks in Australia.
It is a good place to start.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Australian Bush Foods

Visiting Renmark often to see family we are very  familiar with local produce.
There are people in South Australia now doing well growing and marketing natural Australian Bush foods.
Aboriginal people have long known the virtues of native plants.
Below is a link to an article about how this scene is developing quickly.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-06-08/bush-foods-quarmby-kwong-perry/4057464

In Renmark there is also an award winning Restaurant called the Mallee Fowl Restaurant that specialises in such foods also including native animal meats.

Below is a link to their website.

http://www.malleefowlrestaurant.com/


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wonders of Creation-Bird of Paradise Plant

As a Christian and dedicated Creationist I marvel daily at the wonder of God's Creation.
Every where I look and every breath I take  increases that wonder.
Who can look at the bird of Paradise plant and not be in awe.
It relys on birds to pollinate the plant to survive and has a convenient perch for the birds to sit on which is designed to open up and they get pollen on their feet.
So you have to ask yourself had could a plant know to "evolve" like that when it has had to rely on this to survive.
Clearly part of God's master plan.
Honestly ,with respect, I consider evolution is one of he cruellest hoaxes played on the human race.
When you open your mind to the possibilty of God as Creator,Designer and in charge of His creation you will be surprised how the "evidence", that is circumstantial evidence, jumps out at you.
The model or suppositions you need to make for Evolution or special creation are so in favour of the creation model.
And no, I don't accept so called Theistic Evolution which has "a bit each way".
Of course until we accept God's plan for mankind and ourselves personally,and Jesus as our Saviour,we are blinded to the Truth.

See the link below to the Bird of Paradise plant to set you thinking if you hadn't already heard of this.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strelitzia_reginae

The book of Job in the Old Testament is a really good place to look at God's hand in creation where Job and God argue about the sovereignty of God, ie. God explains all His wonders, or many o them which were far beyond the scientific knowledge of the day te book of Job was written.
One of my favourites is the technology that allows you to read this now.

see v34 and 35 below. "I Cloud?" Electric or electronic transmission of voice etc?

Job 38

New International Version (NIV)

The Lord Speaks

38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
“Who is this that obscures my plans
    with words without knowledge?
Brace yourself like a man;
    I will question you,
    and you shall answer me.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
    Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
    Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
    or who laid its cornerstone —
while the morning stars sang together
    and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,
    or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
    and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
    its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
    and their upraised arm is broken.
16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea
    or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
    Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
    Tell me, if you know all this.
19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
    And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
    Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born!
    You have lived so many years!
22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow
    or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
    for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
    or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
    and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
    an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
    and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
    Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
    Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
    when the surface of the deep is frozen?
31 “Can you bind the chains[b] of the Pleiades?
    Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons[c]
    or lead out the Bear[d] with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
    Can you set up God’s[e] dominion over the earth?
34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
    and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
    Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]
    or gives the rooster understanding?[g]
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
    Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
    and the clods of earth stick together?
39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
    and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
    or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
    when its young cry out to God
    and wander about for lack of food?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Moldova? Wedding Photographers?

I noticed that someone from Moldova had been looking at my blog today.
I knew nothing about Moldova so did a quick search for Moldova Wedding Photographers.
Discovered a wonderful wedding photographer, Lily Gorlanova based in Moscow.
See the link below.

http://translate.google.ru/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=ru&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=ru&tl=en&u=http://dehali.livejournal.com/

Some beautiful photography.

Since I posted this I have now discovered another wonderful photographer who comes from Moldova.
Check out his website and in particular watch his Tedx talk on video.

http://sashaleahovcenco.com/about/