Monday, October 31, 2005


Alan Hirsch proposes a series of factors that are all present where effective church growth occurs – and which must all be present for that growth to occur. Around the central conviction that Jesus is Lord, these key elements are:

  • Missional incarnational impulse
  • Apostolic environment
  • Disciple-making
  • Organic Systems
  • Communitas,* not Community

*Communitas is a term which relates to a common endeavour undertaken or challenge faced together.

Obviously, Hirsch unpacks what he means by these five headings and develops subsidiary elements (which I won’t do here at this time). He refers to these key elements as “missional DNA” (or mDNA; for a series developing these ideas in a church setting, check out Phil and Dan McCredden’s mDNA category on their signposts blog). I would agree with the identified elements; but I would consider them not so much mDNA as the components that mDNA is constructed from. That is, I would honestly identify all these elements to exist at St Thomas’ and within The Order of Mission; but I would not say that how St Thomas’ looks is the way every missional church should look; nor that how St Thomas’ looks right now is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than it did twelve months ago, or will look in twelve months time. Just as I have elements of both my parents’ DNA, and our children’s DNA is half from mine and half from Jo’s, and yet our DNA is unique; so I would suggest that every missional church/movement has its own distinct mDNA composed of these key common elements, in unique combination.

Round Here

As promised, some photos of where we are currently: the house is built, but the front and back yards aren't done yet; but there's a playpark just across the street, and we've been lent the white car for getting around...

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Hello To... neice Rosie May Lennox, who was born on 26th October. Welcome to the world! (See you in December.)

What Happened Next

Thanks to those who pointed out I got the years a decade out on my last post. I had a fairly blinding headache at the time. I lay down on the floor, and it got worse - far worse than any headache I've ever had before. I couldn't move, and I couldn't cry out; but I could move my right hand, so I phoned Jo who was in another room in the same building...

...As I couldn't move or speak, an ambulance was called. They came and took me to hospital, where they stuck a canula in my hand (disproportionally unpleasant), hooked me up to a saline drip, and took a couple of brain scans. That was quite scary; they covered my eyes (to protect them from radiation), and didn't give me any information about what was going on (I couldn't ask, but I was conscious of some of what was going on around me), other than that they were injecting a dye through the canula, to show up the blood vessels in my brain. After about four hours, with nothing out of the ordinary showing up on the blood/urine/brain tests, and my speech having slowly returned to normal, they discharged me.

A big thank you to the people who looked after Susannah and Noah while Jo and I were at the hospital.

Yesterday, I slept until around 2pm. Today I feel much better. I think I'm going to be fine, but wanted to let people know. I'm also not sure how much internet access we'll have over the next while, but I'll try to keep in touch. If anyone is trying to contact me, my phone number is +61 414077589.

Thursday, October 27, 2005


On 25th October 1994, Jo Marfell reached over and kissed me. Two years and one day later, on 26th October 1996, we were married, at St Thomas' in Sheffield. Yesterday was our ninth wedding anniversary.

As wedding anniversaries go, yesterday was pretty much a write-off. We moved house for the eigth time in eight weeks, which has stretched all of our flexibility to the limit and then some. Understandably, the kids wouldn't settle last night, and I just lay down on the floor and bawled my eyes out. Today, my head is more congested than it has been yet in a week of head-cold, and I have a pounding headache that will likely incapacitate me soon. But I need to post. Photos to be added later; right now I just need to lie down on the floor again...

Monday, October 24, 2005

Beneath, And Beneath Beneath

The other day Hirschy (happy birthday today, mate!) borrowed from computing to describe church. When I use my computer, I'm playing with various programmes that enable me to do various things. From my desktop, I can access Internet Explorer; Microsoft Office Word, Outlook, Powerpoint; skype...But beneath these there is the Operating System (in my case, Windows XP Professional; I am informed that XP stands for eXtra Problems) that enables the programmes to run. And beneath the Operating System there is the Machine Language. All three need to be compatible for the computer to work: for example, when you try to run programmes that your Operating System isn't adequate to support, they run very slowly, or frequently crash, or won't work at all.

(If I understood him right) Alan suggested that the church parallels are:

  • the visible practices - services/activities/programmes - of a given church;
  • the theology that supports them (and sometimes changing 'surface' practices necessitate developments in that theology - upgrading the Operating System; and sometimes changes in the theology allow the development of new practices);
  • the fundamental question of what is church?

Anyway, I got thinking about these levels. I already had the language of the Operating System for the beneath the surface level. Our Operating System is the LifeShapes principles of discipleship; we describe it as that - principles that can support any number of programmes; and, indeed, that top-level isn't of very much importance (relative to the deeper layers) from where we are coming from. What I hadn't thought about in these terms before was the beneath-the-beneath level; the Machine Language; your answer to the fundamental question what is church?

And this morning it came to me. I'd answer that question like this: church is an alternative construction of community; a counter-cultural re-imagination of what community is. And - counter-cultural to late-Modern society, where the extended family has been quite comprehensively dismantled, and the nuclear family increasingly dismantled too, we have observed that the collective pattern of most of human history points to our being made to experience community in several (pictorially concentric) sizes of group: family, clan, tribe, etc. And so our reconstruction of community must reflect these different sizes of group, with the different strengths and weaknesses - the different purposes - of each.

This particular Machine Language addresses one of the 'big' questions we've seen out here (though not necessarily to anyone's satisfaction!): the incarnational church v attractional church debate. I'd dare to argue (heresy at a Forge setting?!) that attractional is not the problem per se. Yes, biblically, God's people are sent to the nations (incarnational); but God also promises to bring the nations to them (attractional)...We're wired with certain needs that can only be met in an attractional context - witness the hundreds of thousands who head to a football ground or out-of-town mall every weekend. The problem with inherited mode church is (at least) two-fold: that it has only operated attractionally; and that it has tried to do so in group-sizes that are designed to be incarnational instead. Church structured as different sizes of community - incarnational families and extended families, and attractional festivals or celebrations - enables a dynamic movement - a rhythm, an ebb and flow, a heartbeat. Is there a danger that the atractional element has such a strong gravitational pull for cultural Christians / equal and opposite repelant force for cultural post-Christians? Possibly. But I'm not convinced that it has to be that way...or that one-size incarnational communities are ultimately any healthier than one-size attractional ones.

Now that might just stir a few pots round here. But in an environment of vigorous debate between people who genuinely love each other, I think friendships will (more than) survive in tact.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Prayer Request

We're half-way through the Forge was good; but this evening the kids have been pretty disruptive. It's hard. Jo and I feel that this four-day event is significant, perhaps the main reason we're here for these three months. Who knows? But anyway, we feel like we need to be engaging as fully as possible. And people have gone out of their way to help make that happen, taking Susannah and Noah off and looking after them for us. Which has been great. And it should be said that the kids have been so good through that. But, they've not had a lot of their mum and dad's time these past two days. As I said, it's hard. I think they've had a lot of us since we've been out here, and this different circumstance is only for four days out of what will be three months; but you can't do that kind of rationalising when you're four and two. You want mum and dad all over again each new day...

This evening has been hard - really hard (although we did manage to get in a half-hour conversation with Jo's sister and brother-in-law, which was good). Noah is still running around. Earlier on, it was one of those hell-breaks-loose situations. And that leaves us (the grown-ups) exhausted too. Add to which, my head is congested and I've found it hard to breathe most of the afternoon and evening. Oh yes, and for some reason we can't figure out or fix, the oven isn't working anymore (we discovered when we got in earlier); which just added to the pressure when preparing our meal tonight...

I want to head to bed soon, and I don't want the children in and out of our bed all night long.

If you tend to pray, would you pray into our situation for us tonight, and over the next couple of days? Thank you.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Intensive (Very)

Integrity would appear to be one of the things that is key to the guys and gals in Forge, and (if day 1 of 4 is anything to go by) their Intensive certainly does what it says on the can: today was intensive...

I really want to post some reflections (and photos), but that may have to wait until after the event. For now, suffice to say that I was struck by how much of what Alan Hirsch spoke of today seemed to describe the context we have come from (though that was not what he was describing). More on that in the coming days.

I've been asked to do a session tomorrow (originally Hirschy was doing it; then he invited me to come on board with him; now it looks like I'm doing it, and he'll jump in from time to time!). So, I've been jotting down some notes this evening, and - although I'm not quite finished them (I need two more stories) - I think I'm about to head to bed. I've come down with a congested head, sore throat and running nose, just to coincide with the Intensive...

I don't know whether it is possible at this notice to get hold of an MP3 recorder to record my session tomorrow afternoon, but I'd love to do that if at all possible. (Just in case anyone who will be there reads this before they leave home!)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Pop Parables

One of the sessions at the forth-coming Forge Intensive is Mark Sayers' intriguingly-titled "What Paris Hilton taught me about following Jesus - leading in low-commitment consumer culture."

Which caused me to reflect (following the previous post) on What Dr House taught me about church-planting...
  • sometimes received procedure fails to address the - critical - issue;
  • an intuitive approach ultimately might be more effective...
  • don't worry overly about "getting it wrong" (the church might die if you act, but it will die if you don't act)
  • "getting it right" comes by degrees, through trial and error, experiment; each stage of the process is provisional.
  • an effective team needs a visionary leader; and an effective leader builds a team, whose breakthroughs are collective...
  • being primarily pastoral (as we've inherited pastoral) is not necessarily the best way to invest in the members of your team...

I could probably keep going...Okay, the exercise is a limited one. Don't take it too far; don't trash the exercise on the basis of its limitations. But if God can speak to first-century pre-modern Jews through the agrarian landscape, He can speak to twenty-first century post-modern Gentiles through our own popular culture.

Postscript: Mark is one of the leaders of the red network in Melbourne. Anyone who was involved in St Thomas' (and especially in Realm) during the Roxy era will recognise the language of clans, tribes, and tribal gatherings (see the tribal generation website; note - it has not been 'live' for several years now, but is still visited regularly).

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What's On TV?

Different kind of house - we're really enjoying House. It is very good indeed. Dr House is a grumpy genius with attitude. Not so much watching TV as sitting in front of the mirror...

Due North

It looks like we have a house to live in from next week, just around the corner from Andrew and Danelle Hamilton. That puts it at the furthest point north in the line of contacts we have made along the greater-Perth coast (with Cottesloe the southern point, and a 45 minute drive between the two).

We've been looking at all sorts of house possibilities as they've come up - living with families; house-sitting; renting furnished, semi-furnished or unfurnished units; in a variety of locations. In other words, the type of house really didn't matter; what mattered was that it felt right.

The first time we went up to see Hamo and Danelle, we heard that Danelle's parents would be house-sitting a new-build around the corner (for owners who weren't ready to move in yet) while they had a place of their own built elsewhere...Jo came away thinking, what a shame it is taken. Yesterday we were back up there again, and it transpired that Danelle's parents weren't house-sitting after all - her dad (a retired minister) had accepted a short-term post somewhere the house might be available. Hamo drove me round there; we met the owner; and things came together. The owners - a farmer and his wife - recently sold their farm and had this place built so they could join the Hamilton's Upsteam community; so I guess they're on a similar faith-adventure to us. But, they can't move until after Christmas, and didn't want the house to stand empty.

That felt like a right situation. We'll move next week. The house is unfurnished, but that doesn't seem to be an issue; folk will lend us the various things we will need.

Between now and then, there's the Forge conference (Saturday-Tuesday) to keep us busy. Jo and I are doing a session together on Monday, and I'm doing a joint-session with Alan Hirsch on Sunday. We'll meet Al for the first time this Friday - I'm looking forward to it...


I took this photo, and it made me think of Dan. I don't know why, other than it might appeal to him. Anyway, here it is - for Dan.

Lazy Days

Everyone needs a day of rest. Today was one of those for us. After a busy run, we didn't leave the house all day. In the afternoon, one of the mums we've met at playgroup came over with her little girl - a couple of hours of fun for the kids, and just as enjoyable for the grown-ups.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


  • Roads and buildings are well-signed around here. Today we drove past a sign for a Senior Citizens Library. Now, we know about book libraries, video libraries, and games libraries. But we wondered why you'd want to take out a pensioner for two weeks...(I imagined a senario a bit like About A Boy)
  • There's a road not far from where we're staying called Weaponess Road. I know that goodness means possessing the quality of being good, and that faithfulness means possessing the quality of being faithful. So, does weaponess mean possessing the quality of a weapon?
  • Someone challenged me over lunch on Sunday to come up with a grammatically correct sentence in which the word <and> appears five times in a row. It's a clever challenge, so I'll throw it out here...

Monday, October 17, 2005


Two oasis experiences over the past couple of days...

...we moved to the Parry house this afternoon, where we will be staying for a week. (I took the photo of Liz P with our children when we had lunch with her and Trevor recently; the pool is in their garden.) It feels great to have a space of our own, albeit only for seven days - an oasis. Although it is a lovely house, it isn't one of those places where you worry what the kids might touch; this is a place where we will be able to relax - not least in the bath, having only had access to showers since we arrived in Australia (S and N being pretty much shower-phobic).

The other: we spent Saturday night at the home of Kai Seen and Wendy Yapp. Wendy used to baby-sit me and my brother and sister when we were kids; I don't think she and I have seen each other in 25 years...they had a get-together of various people involved in various ministries across the city, and invited us along. To be honest - despite warm welcomes from various people in Glasgow and in Cottesloe - we haven't felt as "at home" in a worship/fellowship context as we did on Saturday night since we left Sheffield towards the end of August. It was a real oasis experience. And we met several folk who were keen to meet up with us again (including a Danish girl here with YWAM who came from Arhus and knew some of our Danish friends in TOM), so it was a great networking-time too.

Tomorrow we're off to spend the afternoon with Hamo and his family again. But for now - now the children are asleep - a relaxing evening beckons...

Friday, October 14, 2005

Whale Of A Time

Today we went whale watching. Whale-watching's right up there with swimming with dolphins in the List of Things You Ought To Do Before You Die. I have to say, it's never been a burning ambition of mine, but, given that we're living right on the Indian Ocean at the time of year when the humpback whales are migrating back south to their feeding grounds (having swam north to give birth to their young) it seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up on..., I'm sure you're familiar with amazing footage of whales rising vertically up out of the ocean, or smashing their tail fluke against the waves: well, it wasn't quite like that!

Noah slept through the whole trip, which meant that he saw marginally less than the rest of us. Susie felt pretty sea-sick - the sea was choppy - but managed not to vomit in the bag provided to every passenger just-in-case. Jo and I faired a little better, but those whales were shy today. The water-spout more-or-less in the middle of the photo is about as much as we got to see.

But then - and I hope I'm not just trying to rationalise-away disappointment here - I actually quite like the idea that there are things that God has created that I haven't seen, and won't. At the end of the day, that seems a bigger and healthier perspective to me.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

In The Wilderness A Highway

I keep being drawn back to these verses:

A voice of one calling:
"In the desert prepare
the way for the Lord;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be raised up,
every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the
Lord has spoken."

A voice says, "Cry out."
And I said, "What shall I cry?"...

Isaiah 40:3-6a

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


This afternoon we walked through Peppermint Grove - the neighbourhood east of Cottesloe, so named (I guess) because the streets are lined with avenues of Peppermint trees - to the Swan River. We walked along Freshwater Bay to where it meets Mosman Bay; there is a thin, hardly-tidal beach-line, and the water is very shallow and flat, in marked contrast to the ocean side.

We continue to live in that liminal "in-between" space. We genuinely don't know what our situation will be come mid-December. We believe God has led us to this place for these three months, and that this is the next step he has for us having called us to leave Sheffield. Our sense is that there is something He has for us here, in greater Perth, beyond this sabbatical: but we don't know what that is, or how it might work out in practice. Discussions with various folk have - indirectly - helped to clarify one thing: we are not here to make something happen, but to keep our eyes open for what God might bring about. At one level we feel - genuinely - completely secure with all this, but that doesn't mean that it isn't scary at times...

Today we decided that, given that we aren't here to make something happen, we would make a slight change of direction: while still making lots of time to meet with anyone who wants to meet up with us, we will make more time to do some of the sight-seeing holiday sort of things - to create some great family memories that we can only do here. Top of the list? Whale watching.

As Requested

I was speaking with my sister on the phone yesterday, and she requested a photo of the caravan we are currently staying in. So here it is. We only sleep in it, and the beds are really comfortable.
It pretty much backs onto the deck at the back of the rectory; the church is the other side of the gates on the left hand side of the picture.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Saturday Afternoon, And Evening

One of the things I really enjoy is being able to eat outside - not a wind-swept English picnic or barbeque in the rain, but sitting down at a table outdoors, eating a 'proper' meal in the fresh air. For me, that was a treat of our holiday back in the USA in June, and of our time here. Today we had lunch, and spent the afternoon, with Trevor and Liz Parry. Trevor was, until last year, the senior paediatrician in Western Australia; Liz is a retired secondary school teacher. They are, quite simply, a lot of fun; and we had a great day together.

The Parry's have a holiday house down south, on the Margaret River (good wine country), and we'll be staying there for a break in November.

On a vacant plot just around the corner from their home, there is a lemon tree, covered in fruit. Apparently it is in almost continual fruit, and the various neighbours help themselves, with plenty of lemons to go round. It makes a fantastic lemonade...I guess at some point the plot will be built on, and the tree may or may not survive. But it is a great illustration of fruitfulness: the individual branches are at different stages of the fruiting-cycle, but as an organism the tree is fruitful all year round - and the surrounding community is blessed as a result. [see photo below.]

The Potts arrived home this evening. It's been great to see them again, sitting around the kitchen table with the weekend paper, a bar of Cadbury's milk chocolate, and red wine. But now it is time for bed - in the caravan again. (Everything gets going very early in the mornings round here.)

Lemon Tree

Friday, October 07, 2005

Dream Team

Here's a result: having been in the right time-zone to watch the Ashes live at a reasonable hour, I'm now in a close-enough time-zone to watch the Super Series not-quite-live. For the first time ever, the ICC has (done what every punter in the pub would do if they could and) selected a World XI - and sent the best individual players out against the best Test and One Day International side, Australia, over three ODIs and one 6-day Test.

Two games in, Australia have dominated. In part, as a side they're playing for restored pride having just lost the Ashes; while certain individual team members are playing to secure their future in the side after notably poor performances on tour...

But dream teams almost always fail to deliver their on-paper potential. For one thing, the players aren't used to playing together; their styles have had no time to mesh. For another thing, they're playing for fun, show-casing their talent but lacking the "we have to win" mentality that comes with playing for your own national team in matches that count for international rankings. And in this particular case there appears to be another factor: the selectors have chosen (on the whole) the biggest names in the game, the box-office draws; senior players (on the whole) in their own sides, who have earned their reputations over many years of consistent brilliance...and therefore aren't as fast in the out-field as younger up-and-coming players. In short, this side hasn't performed in the field, making half-hearted stretches towards balls that they would have caught in previous years.

But it has been highly entertaining nonetheless, and the crowd at Melbourne's Telstra Dome have helped create an amazing atmosphere. As long as no-one expects them to be close-run contests, the Super Series looks set to have a happy future.

On The Move Again...

...though only as far as back into the caravan in the rectory back yard. The Potts return from holiday some time tomorrow afternoon/evening.

In the two weeks they have been away, we have walked into estate agents and letting agents; rang up in response to letting ads on the outsides of appartments and in the local newspaper; viewed a flat on the ninth floor [I felt physically sick the whole time the kids were on the balcony, which ruled that out; everyone we've spoken to since agreed, and a number added that it was a rough location they wouldn't recommend] and an unfurnished single-story unit [various people had said, "If you asked around at church, people would probably lend you things" - but, it would have to be literally everything, and then it would all have to go back to the various lenders: far too complicated a life]. We have come up against people wanting a longer let than we are around for (fair enough), despite the fact that their property is empty and 10 weeks income has got to be better than 10 weeks no income (harder to understand). We have followed up people's recollections that former members of the church now in the USA and Northern Australia have houses nearby and were looking for tenants, only to discover that both properties are currently occupied and won't come available until just before we depart. Lots of people have been looking out for possible places we could live, and/or praying that God would release the right place for us, but so far nothing concrete has materialised. It does look like we'll be house-sitting for a couple in the church for a week, in a week-and-a-half's time; and that we might well be able to move in with another couple for several weeks after that.

In the mean time, we're gathering up our things (it is amazing how widely even a few toys can be spread); rationalising our clothes back down from four suitcases to one; and cleaning away all evidence that we were here...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

On The Edge

Take the main road running north from here until it literally comes to an end in a pile of sand (about 50 minutes' drive), turn right, and you get to Hamo's place. Andrew, Danelle and their kids live on a block that was only built two years ago, surrounded by blocks being developed/to be developed. On the map, the main road continues north in a dotted line, anticipating the next phase of northern suburb growth.

We spent today hanging out with the Hamiltons. First we headed to the park, a temporary facility awaiting the completion of a shopping centre and further housing; then back to their place for lunch, and an afternoon of chatting over beers/coffee/tea. They are on a similar journey to ours: following God's call out from a secure position leading an established church, to pioneer something new - something on-the-edge-and-beyond of church, as well as the edge and beyond of Perth...So, it is great to network. I sense God wants us to become good friends!

One of the things that they are finding is that you can build a housing estate much quicker than you can build authentic community - something that is obvious enough to state, but, I am sure, much harder to live in.

As always, I had my camera with me. In the park, two things caught my eye. One was a piece of art, a fork sticking out of the ground where the path divided, literally A Fork In The Road (indeed, a fork in the fork in the road). It reminded me of Robert Frost's poem The Road Not Taken* (Frost is my favourite poet; this is probably his most widely-known work), which spoke to me of Andrew and Danelle's decision, like Frost, to take the path "less travelled by, And that has made all the difference"...

...The other was the wall around one of the play areas. It reminded me of Nehemiah's call to rebuild the broken- and burned-down walls of Jerusalem, with each family taking a stretch of the wall. Again, it spoke to me of Andrew and Danelle, and the part they have been called to in rebuilding the broken church here in Australia.

And because our stories are in some ways similar, the fork and the wall spoke to me of where, and why, we are here too.

*Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Desert Places

Clearing away the remains of our evening meal beckons, but now the kids are in bed I need to sit down for a while before I get round to it, to catch my breath, and gather my thoughts...

Living in a liminal space is hard at times, but rewarding too. Hard when we realise that we'll be back in Sheffield, in January, at the point where Susie's friends will be starting school - the point where Susie would have started school, but won't be. Hard when we're here to weigh whether this is where we are supposed to be for the next season of our lives, and the key people we need to process that with are away on holiday. Hard when we don't know where we'll be living even for this three months, let alone beyond...

Hard and rewarding blur together at points like this morning, when Jo had a cry at play group and in doing so gave permission for the other newly-arrived mums - from England, on the same flight as us; from Melbourne - to open up about being - inevitably [D2] - in the same "wobbly" place at this stage. And to recognise that they could help each other through [to D3]. Not incidentally, one of the God-pictures someone gave us before we came out here was that, though there would be tears for us, flowers would bloom where each tear fell on the desert soil...

And then there are the out-and-out rewards. This afternoon we spent several lovely hours sitting in the back garden of one of our new friends, Amanda, whose welcome to us has been a special gift. Other people came and went the whole time we were there. I took photos of her garden, and portrait shots of her youngest child, and we downloaded them onto her laptop - a gift in return. As well as just being a wonderful, relaxed time, we also bounced around ideas for things we - us and Amanda - can envision pioneering here...Creativity is starting to stir - in thoughts alone this morning, with Jo after lunch, in Amanda's garden this afternoon...things we can't move on until Malcolm and Cheryl return from holiday, but...perhaps God is starting to show each of us why He has brought us to this place.

And that fills me with hope, and "faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." [Hebrews 11:1]

Monday, October 03, 2005


Town Hall:
  • the shady playground - a favourite spot while mum is at the gym
  • Noah and Susannah on the formal walk to the lawns - the ballustrades have seen better days, but still look impressive
  • Town Hall entrance

Meet The Neighbours:

  • looking down Marmion street towards the rectory, and church beyond
  • St Philip's Church - church office entrance; the rectory was built on adjacent land, to the right of the picture
  • red-and-green Kangaroo Paw planted in the rectory front garden
  • a family of lorakeets live in a eucalyptus tree just along the road

Town Hall

Meet The Neighbours

Saturday, October 01, 2005


Then [Jesus] said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.'
"Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is a friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." Luke 11:5-10

The other morning, Noah got up at 5:30am, and decided that it would be a good idea to wake up mum and dad. He was ignored. So he got into our bed. And was ignored. By 6:15am he was bored of that, so he got out of our bed and started running up and down the hard-wood corridor shouting "I want some milk!" very loudly over and over again. Which, despite being very irritating, was ignored. At 6:30am, a little voice is heard from Susannah's room at the other end of the hard-wood corridor: "You need to say please, Noah!" To which Noah responds, "Please can I have some milk?!"

Shoot. We really couldn't ignore that...

Since we moved into the house, the kids have been settling to sleep quicker, but waking earlier. swings and roundabouts. Speaking of which, there seems to be a park on every street corner in Perth, which is fantastic. Peter, who took us out-and-about on Wednesday morning, did so again on Friday afternoon. We crossed the Swan to the south side, and went to a particularly impressive playground with stunning 180-degree views over the river. As it turned out, it was blowing a storm, so we watched the rain blow in, then retreated into a restaurant for coffees while the rain came over so hard the city-centre skyscrapers vanished in cloud...For Ruth's benefit, I took photos - but I'll have to upload them some other time.