Blog Archive

Thursday, January 31, 2013

From the Wayside Chapel by Graham Long





Dear Inner Circle,

One of Sydney's best scammers stepped into my path yesterday. She hugged me and put $1.50 into my hand. She gave a little speech about how this money was to repay me for all the times I'd helped her over the years. She walked away, leaving me staring at the $1.50. This may not sound like a funny moment but I would shudder to think of the number of times I'd either bought her a coffee or a drink or 'lent' her a bus fare or a train fare. People always tell me that they'll be paying me back the following day but it’s a rare day when that happens. As this dear little sausage walked away I muttered something like, "I guess that makes us square then".

An old man with a hunched back walked into our Sunday service this week just as it was finishing. Afterwards the old man made his way up to talk to me and I suddenly recognised him as a man who was young just a couple of years ago. A man who looked maybe 40 years old just a while ago, today looks like a 70 year old. The last time I met this fellow he was well enough to cause our staff some grief yet I was quite happy to see him again. He could barely walk. In order to look me in the face he had to bend at the knees as the bend in his back had no flexibility. He told me that he'd broken his back in a suicide attempt which was motivated by a kind of soul weariness from years of addiction. He was now a cancer patient at St Vincent’s hospital and they had given him leave to come and see me. He told me that he only had weeks left and he wanted to know if I would do his funeral. When I told him I'd be honoured to do his funeral, there was a visible sense of relief that came over his tired but lovely face. "But I'm a dreadful heathen," he said. "Mate" I said, "there is no exclusive club. If you're not a brother, then I've never seen one."

There was another loveable fellow around this morning who I've known for a few years. An addiction to morphine has robbed this poor fellow of life. He always wears too many clothes for the weather and it means he is always sweating profusely. The poor man is a one of Sydney's most prolific scammers and he's worn out his welcome with most agencies and Kings Cross regulars. I love to watch the way people walk and this fellow has the most interesting walk I've ever seen. It's hard to describe but it's a bit like the man's every step is being kept secret from his body until the last moment. I guess he's always on the look out to see who he might bite or where he might find some money. I see him walking in a straight line but at each step he could easily move 90 degrees or even 180 degrees from his path and it couldn't be predicted.  I put my hands in my pockets in an unkind gesture that I think meant to signal that I had no money so there would be no point in asking. As it turned out, he only came to tell me that his mother was critically ill. As he was talking to me, another lady who I know well, walked up from behind me and simply laid her head on my shoulder while this conversation took place. I know what her heartache is about and this conversation without words was heavy with meaning. I felt honoured to have given my shoulder today.

I pay tribute to some extraordinary people today. Belle, Hayssam, Bride, Dominic, Andrea, Alex, Hannah, Lawrence, Richard, Peter, Caroline, Tara, Caroline, Vera, Sandy, Bethany, Clare, Nicola, Meleanna, Michael and Laura are all off to climb Mount Kilimanjaro on Monday. When I first agreed to this expedition, we hoped that the climbers might raise perhaps $50,000 for Wayside. To this moment these beautiful folk have raised $158,881. Thank you dear people for the months of fundraising. Thank you dear people for electing to take a difficult road in order to make the world a better place. Your efforts will feed hungry people, find shelter for homeless people, teach life skills to those who are disadvantaged and give hope to some who have long since lost hope. Not many who receive the help will understand the cost of love that made the help possible but I'm in awe of you and I salute you as does all 8,000 members of our inner circle.

If there is an inner adventurer in you that is brave enough to lead the way to a better world, the Wayside is organising a fundraising trek on the Kokoda Track in October this year. You can enquire about this here.

Thanks for being part of this inner circle,

Graham

Rev Graham Long
Pastor and CEO
The Wayside Chapel
Kings Cross
http://www.thewaysidechapel.com/


 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 Laura Watts laura.watts@thewaysidechapel.com

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Thoughts on Fast Bowling by Geoff Thompson

In my youth I was a keen cricketer and played as a fast or opening bowler with moderate success.
See my earlier post as below which is probably not much more than an older guy boasting about how good he was or could have been.
The other more successful Jeff Thomson spelt his name wrong by the way.
http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/talkin-about-my-generation-part-3-sport.html

The moment every opening fast bowler waits for.to pick up the cherry and deliver a blistering opening over.


Like all youth who are filled with enthusiasm about sport I aspired to a higher level of cricket and believed(probably not realistically) I could play for my State and then Australia. Who hasn't had such dreams when you are young and  full of energy.
So here are a few thoughts I now have many years later about fast bowling.
When you have years of hindsight and watched many games on television or live like everyone else you have your opinions.
So here are my topics.
1. Why become a fast bowler as against a slow or spin bowler or medium pacer?
2. What attributes physical and mental do you require?
3. How do you keep progressing through levels of cricket to attain your goals.


1. For me I started off as a spin bowler.Off breaks then leg breaks and sometimes both.
This was in high school.
I was very successful with off breaks in my first couple of years in high school as bowling on the stumps with a good length and some turn on hard wickets was good enough for school boys who had not yet perfected their batting technique.
At the  age of 15  I was starting to get hit around a bit so I decided too try bowling fast.
I found I could do this with some success and rarely bowled spin again.
I did however use a fast "wrong'un" or "googly" as a slow ball at times with a little success.
I think I got 2 wickets in my career with that ball but usually I did not concede runs to it.
I was also a placid soul by nature to a certain extent but enjoyed letting out some youthful aggression as a fast bowler.
2. Mental and physical attributes.
I was not smart enough to bowl within myself at times.All I wanted to do was to blast people out and tried to bowl each ball faster than the last one.
Bouncers were part of the mix of course.
Working out a run up or approach to the wicket that you are comfortable with is an important thin early in your career.
I worked out 15 paces was right for me and stayed with that all my career.
I could bowl just as fast off a shorter run but this was a lot more physically taxing.
Getting your rythym right is very important.
On the few occasions in my career I got to bowl against first class batsman I found that line and length as well as pace was the way to go or you saw the ball go quickly to the boundary.
I was more a front on bowler than side on and as such bowled in swingers, what they now call reverse swing, as a standard ball.
Bowling front on I found I could generate great pace but to the detriment of my back and back injuries really came at the wrong times in my career.
You do need to be physically strong as a general rule but I saw bowlers in some of the teams I bowled in who were slightly built and not necessarily tall generate good pace.
Being tall is however an advantage for fast bowlers.
I remember in a B grade district match once when my club, West Torrens, was playing Port Adelaide on a very dry unfriendly pitch for fast bowlers.
I opened the bowling and got the first wicket very quickly.
Then a team mate, Graham Parry, came on from the other end and proceeded to take the next 9 wickets.
This included a double hat trick,all bowled.
That is 4 wickets in 4 balls!
Graham was and still is about 5'7",slightly built, and was quite brisk from a long run up.
Mentally as a fast bowler, like in many sports, you have to be able to push through the pain barrier.
Quite often you will have a sore big toe or a bruised heel.
See below a link to a news item about the perils of fast bowling.
http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/cricket/jake-brown-gives-south-australia-first-innings-points-against-nsw-in-shield-clash/story-e6frectl-1226581889646
3. To progress through the levels of any sport you really need to be dedicated to succeeding.
I saw many players do better than I did because they worked at their game rather than just relying on natural ability.
You need to develop a few tricks up your sleeve and learn how to bowl a variety of deliveries.
In swingers,out swingers and I used to have success with fast off cutters.
You really need to be able to sum up up the weather and pitch conditions to decide on your strategy for the day.
Working out a batsman's weakness is something you should work out and get advice from coaches and captains on this.
I am staggered these days how people change states,teams and even play overseas to improve their game and opportunities.
 I was always the sort of person who played for my club and entertained no thoughts of going elsewhere and also I played football in the off season.
In the 1960's there were many players, including test players,who played at a national and state level in other sports.
These days it would appear you can only do one sport well at an elite level.
I guess that is the difference between amateur and professional sport.
You really need to decide whether you want to have a regular 9-5 job and enjoy your sport or make some sacrifices to step up.
In my opinion the most foremost consideration, if you are a family man, is that family should always be a priority in your decision making.
Below are some pics  to enjoy.
There are also many short videos on fast bowling on youtube to watch.


Warne bowling to Lara on Adelaide Oval.I wonder if Warnie was ever tempted to bowl fast and give way spin bowling.




















Thursday, January 24, 2013

"Go to Jesus" by Frank Hunting

This is a podcast from a taped address by Frank Hunting given in the 1970's. See other titles by Frank on this blog and the post about Frank Hunting.
In this sermon Frank mentions the booklet "Looking Unto Jesus" by Theodore Monod.
There is a link below to the text of this booklet.
http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/2009/08/about-fank-hunting.html

http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/looking-unto-jesus.html

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Art of Seeing

As you progress with your photography over several years you are able to learn what some call the Art of Seeing.
Bryan Petersen has written a very good book about the subject.
The Bible tells us that until we become Christians we are blinded to the truth of the Gospel and cannot see clearly the message of the Gospel.
By hearing the word of God our Faith can grow until we see.
With photography the art of seeing is something that can be learned with practice.
One morning I noticed through our loungeroom window nice light shining on the roses and flowers just outside our window.
I saw the opportunity for a nice photo and grabbed my camera.
This is an example of the art of seeing.
I like the end result and the fact that the real flowers are out of focus and the embroidered ones are not.


Slightly enhanced with iPhoto special effects

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Incredible Decision of Rejecting Christ by Frank Hunting

This podcast is also found on my youtube channel,pembridgehouse.
This is a sermon given by Frank in he 1970's at the Church of Christ Grote Street Adelaide.
In 2013 if God has been speaking to you about becoming a Christian why not take the plunge?
It is a plunge but it is more sure than being held and supported by ropes in a bungee jump.
You will never be the same again if you receive Jesus as your Saviour and then set about making Him Lord.
The change will always be for the better if you do that.
Do not be caught out by procrastination.
Click on the arrow to hear the message.This is audio only.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Calvary Love for Christian Photographers

Calvary Love for Christian Photographers

On this blog you will find the booklet "If" by Amy Carmichael.
Part 2 is particularly challenging for the Christian.

 http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/2011/10/if-by-amy-carmichael-calvary-love.html

In the same spirit of this book I offer the following for Christian Photographers.
I am sure fellow Christian Photographers can come up with more "Ifs"
These are just thought starters.
I do not claim to be speaking in all authority on this subject but this is how it seems to be to me.
Note I am not speaking for or to Photographers who do not claim Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
Photography can be used for much gain for Humanity but also much evil.
Where do you Christian Photographer draw the line?
It would be an interesting exercise to do this in the use of Social Media such as Facebook also.

"If I can take a photograph of someone in an unfortunate situation and all I am thinking is I can make money or win an award I know nothing of Calvary Love.

If I can ridicule or laugh at someone by publishing a photo of them then I know nothing of Calvary Love.

If I put the idea of "getting the image" above the welfare, feelings or emotions and safety of my subject and others close to them then I know nothing of Calvary Love.

If I think it ok to publish and/or take so called "fine art" photos of the naked human form and indeed "softcore" or "hardcore" pornography whether or not I have my own personal motives including voyeurism, then I know nothing of Calvary Love.(You know the type of photography I mean.)

There was a time when it was ok for  christian people  to take photographs of the naked human form but only two people had that privilege.
That was Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the Fall when they did not know they were naked.
Problem is I don't think they had cameras.
There is of course a place for medical photography for medical purposes.

If I am taking photos when my conscience tells me not too and yet I still go ahead then I am sinning and not practising Calvary Love.

If I pass off someone else's work as my own for my own gain or otherwise then I know nothing of Calvary Love.

See also my post on using your camera for God.

http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/2011/06/using-your-camera-for-god.html

Christian Counselling by Frank Hunting


Below  is an extract from a Churches of Christ provocative pamphlet from 1955 by Frank Hunting.Over the length of his lifetime and ministry Frank counselled and helped hundreds of people including myself.
The Church desparately needs people doing what Frank has suggested here.
If Frank were alive today he would also be endorsing that not Just Christian "Ministers" have the responsibility to counsel but also appropriately equipped lay people.
There are organisations which have developed programmes for equipping lay people.
Two that I recommend are Grace Fellowship International(Charles Solomon is the founder) and Freedom in Christ Ministries(Founded by Neil Anderson)



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"Spiritual Counselling.
      Spiritual counselling is not being seriously undertaken in our churches. It is still regarded as the work of specially trained or specially gifted men. It ought to be the normal thing in every congregation. For this work spiritual insight is more important than psychological training. Every minister, if he follows the practice of his Master, would give hours of his time every week to this important work, but the average minister is so overtaxed by the demands of organising a modern congregation that he completely throws out any suggestion that he may need five or six hours in any week to sit at leisure to give spiritual counselling to people who need it. Nor, do the deacons and members realise how important it is that their pastor should do this work.
      Homes are breaking or are in trouble, individuals carry, crushing personal problems, nervous breakdowns crop up here and there, good Christian people are developing neurotic tendencies, and all these should be receiving special spiritual counselling. There is need for guidance and counsel on all aspects of living which the minister out of his growing store of wisdom and experience should be giving, and in any church where the work of the Holy Spirit is in evidence there should be individuals becoming dissatisfied with their Christian experience who want to grow spiritually--these and other aspects of living demand that churches should see to it that their minister has adequate time to give all the spiritual counselling needed. People, whose problems have a spiritual origin are going to doctors and psychiatrists; they should be going to Christian ministers skilled in spiritual counselling.

The Equipment
      God can train a man in spiritual counselling and the following personal equipment is essential. A man must himself quite obviously have an increasingly growing experience living Saviour, He must know from first-hand personal experience the power of Christ to change men. To undertake spiritual counselling should be to enter into a secret compact with God to pray in faith for Christ's cleansing and delivering power in the life of the one we are counselling.
      The basic requirements of the spiritual counsellor are:
      * The counsellor must have faced all his own sin, failures, defeats and share these with another.
      * He should live in the open with others about his pride, sin, victories, prejudices, self--all that the Holy Spirit is showing him to be when measured against the life of Jesus.
      * He must obviously be finding Christ to be the answer to his own life, circumstances and situations.
      * He must be willing to share any part of his life with another as God directs him.
      * He must be practising God's guidance and leading in his own life and affairs. Only as God leads will some unravel the tangle of their lives. The spiritual counsellor to help such people must have complete confidence in the Holy Spirit's guidance and leadership in such matters.
      * He must have unbounded confidence in Christ's power to meet and solve the problems and needs in any person's life. There are no exceptions to this.
      * He must never take sides either for or against people, but always take God's side, God's part in every situation.
      * He must be an unfailing channel of love and patience.
      * He must give all the time needed even if this extends over years.
      * He must see more than the situation as presented to him; he must see origins, causes, reasons.
      * For this he will need deep penetration into motives and the self-deceptions we all deal in. This demands constant reliance upon the Holy Spirit for the insights which liberate.
      * We must learn not only to detect the causes of trouble and upset, we must also learn to help people build into their lives the positive power that lies in faith in God,
      This word from Oswald Chambers must be the conviction of the counsellor: "The Lord seems to come to us in every individual case we meet--'Believest thou that I am able to do this?' Whether it be a case of demon possession, bodily upset, mental twist, backsliding, indifference, difference of nationality and thought--the challenge is to me: Do I know my risen Lord? Am I wise enough in God's sight to bank on what Jesus told me? Am I foolish enough according to the wisdom of the world to do it? or am I abandoning the supernatural position, which is the only one for a missionary (or Christian), of boundless confidence in Jesus?"
      Let us not try to be psychologists. We come to offer men and women Christ. His cleansing for their sin. His all sufficient grace for their defeats and failures. His never failing presence for their confusion and frustration. His guidance and solution on all matters. Christ is Himself the answer and He alone has the answer. Many people want help but they don't want it in the only way they will ever get it. Till they want help in the way He can give, we may need to stand aside watching them try all the approved failures until they are willing to believe that Christ alone is the way, the truth, and the life.


F. C. HUNTING--
      Graduated from the Federal College of the Bible in 1933. After graduating, he served the churches at Blackburn and Prahran, Victoria, then followed three years as Youth Director for our New South Wales churches. On the expiration of that term he served the church at Ann St., Brisbane, for a period, and has been with the Dawson St. church, Ballarat, Victoria, for the past six and a half years."

My footnote.
 In semi retirement Frank came to the Church of Christ at Grote Street in Adelaide as a colleaugue of Pastor Harold Long.They were in tandem ministry for 5 years.
He then moved to Noarlunga Centre Church of Christ in 1980 where he finished his official ministry.
Frank also gave considerable assistance to the Murray Bridge Church of Christ while in Aelaide.
He was a counsellor to many in Adelaide and Victoria and beyond in his lifetime.

See also the link below to an extract from Frank's booklet on Christmas about Jesus as Counsellor.

http://geoffthompsonsblog.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/his-name-is-counsellor.html





Wednesday, January 9, 2013

THE TOUGHEST BATTLE GROUND OF ALL by F C Hunting


This is an extract from a "provocative pamphlett" by Frank Hunting many years ago.See about Frank Hunting on this blog.


THE TOUGHEST BATTLE GROUND OF ALL
      Most Christians would say that it is hardest to be Christian at home than anywhere else. We can be nice outside but nasty at home, we can be gay with others but gloomy at home, we can be courteous to friends but catty to loved ones, we can save up all our growls for home consumption and all our laughter for outside consumption. Many of us feel that if we really are Christian at home then we are Christian. For us it is harder to be Christian at home than anywhere else.
      The standard we ought to accept for ourselves at home--and indeed everywhere--is the standard of Jesus. Jesus was absolutely loving, absolutely pure, absolutely unselfish, absolutely honest. Let us make the standard of His life the standard of our lives. We may never get quite there. We may never be able to say at the end of any week or even of any day, "I have been absolutely loving today" or "I have been absolutely unselfish", but we can keep growing towards these standards, and we can increasingly see how far short we are falling--and we can do something about our short comings.
      Common faults (are they not sins?) we have are self-sympathy, critical and negative thoughts and words, resentments, all sorts of selfishness, and often assuming or demanding that other people in the home have a right to do certain things for us.
      Some people have found that they needed to take the four absolutes and use them to cheek over their lives. If they have been honest and have not dodged they
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have been staggered at the numerous ways they are selfish, or dishonest, or unloving. Now it is one thing to discover all the ways one may be impure in thought or word, or dishonest, or unloving, or unselfish; it is another thing to be set free from these things. There is only one way that I know of. It is to take what we are to Jesus.
      He breaks the power of cancelled sin. He makes it possible that sin shall not have dominion over us. There is no sin in your life nor mine that Jesus cannot deliver us from. When you and I have temper there, is usually some self, the cause of the temper we will not die to, or there is something we will not call sin and yield to Jesus.
      Jesus' formula for getting free from besetting sin is amazingly simple when you are resolute enough and humble enough and honest enough to work it. It is this, "If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin." 1 John 1:7. "If we walk in the light as He is in the light." There is no darkness with God, none whatever. There must be none in us. All darkness in us is sin and all sin produces darkness. There are several things which me can do about the sin in our lives. We can refuse to admit it is sin. People for instance won't admit that their shyness or self-consciousness, or their resentment or their prayerlessness is sin. We excuse our shyness by saying it is our temperament to be shy, failing to see the pride and self lying behind shyness. We excuse things like our prayerlessness by saying we are too busy, we haven't time for long praying. We have the time but we give it to less important things. We blame others for our temper, saying they provoke us. We blame the way others have treated us for our resentment or hurt feelings. And in this way we dodge the fact that they are sin.
      But if we are humble enough, and honest enough to admit they are sin--and then take them to Jesus for Him to cleanse us of them, "the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin." I know, for I am a sinner who has been set free from the power of sins which I thought would have dominion over me till the day I died. There is however one thing we must do. We must repent of our sins. That means we hate the sin in us as God hates it. Why do men stagnate or die spiritually? Because they cease repenting. Some of us have learnt that we need to go to God throughout the day repenting of the self, and the sin in the self, which all sorts of circumstances and reaction to people bring out in us. Always when we truly repent God gives us a fresh start, we are cleansed from that sin through the blood of Jesus, we walk in the light with God.
      Jesus is a victorious Saviour. This is not a lovely theory to be admired or preached upon. It is a fact to be enjoyed by people like us. Jesus is to abide in, us. He lives in us and through us. Sin is the one thing which breaks our relationship of abiding in Jesus. So either we die to the sin that is within us or the sin will kill the life of Christ within us. My choice is that the sin shall die. So, it is Jesus within us that makes us unselfish. We have no love, but Jesus is all love. We shall love if He is abiding in us. We have no trouble with any of the things a Christian ought to be if Jesus has made His home in our hearts through faith. (See Ephesians 3:14-21).
      Jesus is declared to be "the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world" John 1:29. This becomes an actual experience as we actually admit our sin, repent of it, and ask Jesus to cleanse us of it. The big problems in our homes is to be loving, unselfish, to eradicate in ourselves all the things that cause disharmony. We
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must not look at the things in others which cause friction or trouble, but at what in ourselves causes friction. The test comes: Will we sincerely look or ask God to show us, what in us causes disharmony, what in us is selfish, what in us is unloving. Will we admit it, will we repent of it, will We ask Jesus to take it from us?
      One of the hardest things most of us ever do is to say, "I was wrong, will you forgive me." "I am sorry, it was my fault." Yet if we do repent, if we genuinely want to be free from our share of the disrupting things in our home a real change will always be working, and the love and joy Jesus brings will be filling our homes.

F. C. HUNTING
Graduated from the Federal College of the Bible in 1933. After graduating, he served the churches at Blackburn and Prahran, Victoria. then followed three years as Youth Director for our New South Wales churches. On the expiration of that term he served the church at Ann St., Brisbane for a period, and has been with the Dawson St. church, Ballarat, Victoria, for the past eight years.
Provocative Pamphlet, No. 33, September, 1957
 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Golf at the Renmark Golf Club.

Golf at the Renmark Golf Club.

A get together  of some of our Renmark and Adelaide and Canberra members of the Longs,Thompsons and Fowerakers was an excellent opportunity for a rare game of Golf at The Renmark Country Club.
South Australia is in the grip of a heat wave so an early start was a good idea.
It was nice and cool to start with but by the time we got to the 16th hole the heat exhaustion was setting in so we retired to the club house.
At that time Josh led Jamie by one stroke and then I and Rob and Dave were the also rans.
Nonetheless we had a wonderful game of golf with all of us hitting winners at times but some we weren't so proud of.
The Renmark Course is a picturesque Australian Country Golf Course with good facilities.
There is wildlife to enjoy as well with lots of native birds and kangaroos a plenty.
Here are a few snaps.
Photos taken on a Canon 400D and Canon 600D


Josh aiming for a "birdie"

Jamie Putts

Rob blasting out of the bunker

Jamie's style

Josh lines up

Straight down the middle

Dave ,Josh and Jamie


Jamie lifts out of the bunker

Kangaroos enjoy the shade and the golf


Rob with interested gallery