That’s Melbourne!


I was at the Melbourne Park Function Centre for a couple of days this week. It is part of Melbourne Park – the sporting precinct on the east side of the city.

The grand temple is the MCG and it sits on the northern side of the park. Across the track sits the Rod Laver arena, as well as what used to be called the Vodafone arena but is now called the Hisense arena. Then there’s the AAMI Park stadium which houses relatively peripheral sporting codes like soccer and rugby league.

The G (only a minority refers to the hallowed grounds of MCG as a “stadium”) houses mainly footy (as in Aussie Rules Football) in the winter and cricket in the summer. Rod Laver and Hisense sees tennis and between them (the G and RL/Hisense) they cover the major spectator sports the city is made about.

Nestled in the middle of all these sporting sanctuaries is the Melbourne Park Function Centre. A short while ago I was at the tea room having a breather, when I looked out the window and was taking in the beauty of this part of Melbourne (the eastern side) when it again dawned on me what a great city we live in.

The G really is just as the crow flies, or even nearer, from the office. A 15 minutes leisurely walk probably, is all I need.

Even if something is going on at the Etihad instead, it is just a 15 minute tram ride to the western part of the city. The wharf area of Docklands has a different kind of beauty to Melbourne Park but it is equally pleasant.

All this – and only a 25-30 minute train ride for many people, including yours truly. This is all calling out to me to get stuck into attending more sporting events. You know – live life here in Melbourne. It’s a great city.

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Big Blue


Sea that is…

Back at the office today and the deep dive into whole swathes of documents which are starting to look really angry and wanting attention, must soon begin. I have always liked India but its largest conglomerate with a consulting arm – Tata Consulting Services – hadn’t previously figured in my world other than being a respondent to a project they put a bid in at AIA. They are my Manchester City now. Well for the next few weeks I suppose.

Meanwhile I wonder if I can nick off for say 20 minutes, to get a cuppa from 65 Degrees, the wonderful coffee place just up the road at Exhibition Street, from the back of the building. It would fuel me up properly for the tasks at hand.

Day 2 of talkfest


And thankfully it will be the close.

This morning will start with a message from the chair of the board.

The Chair of the Board – as is the Board as a whole – is given a fair bit of accord, which is sort of a common thing, and everyone puts most stuff aside to attend to any query from the board.

I guess not everyone operate on that basis.

While we listen to all these talk – useful though they may be – work piles up in the office. I dread to think what awaits me tomorrow…sleeves up again.

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Corporate Talkfest (hence no more talkfest in church please)


I got to sleep in this morning. It isn’t however for a fun reason. There’s this leadership talkfest that’ll run for 2 days. It will be at the Melbourne Park Function Centre.

So here I am waiting for a train at the unusual hour of 8am’ish. It has been scheduled to include dinner which means it will be a very long day.

I guess that’s why when the church organises something which features a speaker whose chief credential is he was a corporate figure of some sort, it is a quick turn off. I’m in church to hear God’s word and have fellowship with others. Listening to someone on any other basis than he is a faithful teacher of the scriptures, would not be a good use of our collective time.

Anyway here’s to a longish day…

Grind away


It 6 o clock on a Monday morning and I’m on the way into the city to start the week. A little alert went off in my phone a few minutes ago and when I checked it made me look up my diary with a little dismay.

I have a lot lined up for today, and the rest of the week doesn’t look any better. I had brought the laptop home in an attempt to do something about this crazy week. Sat saw me doing housekeeping work the entire day, as well as some prep and cooking for a little dinner at home for some church people. Yesterday, by the time we got home after church and lunch with some people it was close to 3. I just needed some rest and I couldn’t drag myself to do any work other than checking some emails.

Anyway, it is still possible – just – to stick to reasonably normal hours and minimum or zero work at weekends or after hours for now and as long as that remains true the grind looks okay. I’m happy to leave my hands on the stone. Before that happens though I still have a few minutes on this train for a quick shut eye… zzz

Gillard & AWU – Razak & Scorpenes. Again.


About a year ago I came across a story about Julia Gillard’s possible downfall, through her work as a lawyer for the AWU. That story (Glenn Milne) got pulled but not before I got hold of it and put it up here on my blog. It attracted a lot of traffic to my blog that day so I password protected it later that day, but someone had in turn put it up in a bulletin board of sorts, having copied it from my blog.

 

That story went away, or so I thought. These past few days saw the story resurrect like a very lively phoenix indeed. It got front page treatments, talk show hosts went at it and blogs like Larry Pickering and Andrew Bolt worked through every sliver of every piece of information. All of these treatment underlined some things we have all known and strongly abhor about Julia Gillard. She certainly comes across as being dishonest and glosses over facts and truths and will bend anything to suit her agenda. To top it all off, she continues to play word games and make it sound like she is innocent and totally blameless on all counts. I find her utterly dishonourable. I am as ashamed of her as a PM as I was as a Malaysian, of Dr Mahathir back in the 90’s. In fact I have said many times, that Julia Gillard and her government has so many similarities with Najib Razak and his, in terms of honesty, competence and trustworthiness that it is a déjà vu for me.

 

Singsong in Church – How did it get elevated to worship and Worship in church – How did it get reduced to singsong?


“Boyfriend songs” was the naughty and irreverent term I first heard used freely and often, when I was working in a Christian charity. It refers to that loose category of songs sung in church, where one sings – presumably – of the Lord Jesus as though He was one’s boyfriend. You know – words like “you were always there for me”, “when I’m down and lonely” “you are my best and most dependable friend”, “only you understand me”, “you’re my all in all”, “how did I ever live without you”… you get the drift.

All those lines aren’t offensive or anything like that; but by themselves and with no context of Jesus as God and His redemptive act on the cross all those lines are saccharine material – sweet nothings. It is disturbingly easy to find whole songs comprising lines like those and one can easily hear similar songs in a teenage girl pyjamas party I imagine. I really think they have little use in church especially for congregational singing purposes.

Actually it would be even better if we retraced our steps completely and re-examine the role of music in church. It has become such as central thing in church, that music has become synonymous with worship. It isn’t. To give music the status of worship, is to undermine – not underline – worship. To call someone who leads the singing on Sunday mornings as the “worship leader” is to undermine worship. To call music support work the “Worship Ministry” is to undermine worship.

To confuse music support work as worship ministry was the initial first step that lead to boyfriend songs forced on congregational singing.