IE7 Continued – Restoring some balance

Well I’ve been using the beta for a bit longer now, ed and while I still won’t be changing from Firefox for the time being, there are some definite pluses in the latest beta release.

The RSS Support is very pretty, if perhaps a little bit tough to understand straight away. It works much better as a RSS reader than Firefox’s Live Bookmarks, although I’ll probably keep using those out of habit. And there are certainly some pretty colours. And you’ve got to appreciate them keeping with already accepted UI practices like having the middle button open a link in a new tab (although I did notice that if you try to open a link that would normally open in a new window in a new tab it’ll just open it in the new window anyway – marks off for slackness).

And it’s nice that the new browser has a little zoom thing on the bottom right, although it’s pretty crazy that it also enlarges the scroll bar, but whatever. So there’s a lot left that will continue to annoy me people, and I haven’t even tried checking how some CSS type functions do in IE7, but it’s better than my earlier review might have sounded. And no I haven’t written this addition in response to any Microsoft prompting. However if there are people from Microsoft wanting to bribe persuade me of the value of their products then they’re even stupider than I thought I’d be more than willing to hear from you. So do check it out, it’s certainly worth a look, if only to find out what most of the idiot users of the world will be using to browse the Interweb.

IE7 Beta Review

I figured it’s about time I make this a little bit nerdier to get up the geek cred. So I read around the place that Internet Explorer 7 is available as a public beta (officially this is IE7 Beta 2 Preview), tadalafil so I’ve been checking it out. And the results: underwhelming. Sure I probably should have expected that, help but it certainly won’t have me racing to get rid of Firefox in a hurry. Its interface has got rid of that one really sensible UI design feature, the menu bar at the top of the window, and instead they want you to click on a menu at the right hand top end, which for a lifetime windows user is counter-intuitive. When you make the menu appear as normal, it sits underneath the address bar and it doesn’t seem to move. It’s these kind of stupid little things that annoy people.

Anyway, if you want to experience the wonder of IE7 for yourself, you can get the setup download here. And other than those annoying things, it does seem to be a significant step up from IE6, and it does have tabbed browsing and RSS support and lots of the other things that make Firefox attractive. But not quite enough for me yet.

IE7 view of this site

What Kind Of Christian Am I?

I’m not sure that I agree with what it found, discount but I’ve done a “What’s your Theological worldview?”. I’d feel better if I had a really sound knowledge of what postmodern really means.

You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don’t think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.

Neo orthodox
Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan
Reformed Evangelical
Classical Liberal
Modern Liberal
Roman Catholic

What’s your theological worldview?
created with

Is God Nice?

So here’s the setup, sovaldi I’m chatting with a good friend who is one of those people I really enjoy having good meaty philosophical discussions with, and she comments that she’s not sure that God is nice. Which of course led me to reach for my long list of pat answers, but I couldn’t really find one that fits.

I guess part of the problem with “is God nice?” is that I’m not really sure that nice is a word I’m comfortable with. I relate strongly to the scene in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (which is a great film that you should definitely see) where Jim Carrey says “you seemed nice” to Kate Winslet and she goes nuts at him. Nice just seems like such a piddly little term. Much too baby Jesus meek and mild, halo type of image. “Kind” is almost pushing it.
There’s something deeply right about C.S Lewis’ description of Aslan as “not a tame lion…. but he is good”. And if loving and good is what you are trying to say in the word “nice”, then it is entirely fair to suggest that God is “nice”.

I don’t know that this post has really made much of a point. But the question forced me to really think about the character of God, and to take seriously who I believe I think he is. Naturally, none of this was actually wrapped up in the original comment, my friend was just expressing frustration at her inability to see God’s plan in her present circumstances (which makes it all sound more dramatic than it really is). But it’s always worth having a think.

Quote of the Year Is Taken Already

Been watching “Speaking In Tongues” on the podcast and I reckon Father Bob Macguire has taken out quote of the year with this pearler:

” Don’t leave your chicken on the microwave oven, ambulance ladies and gentleman, shop uncovered, even if it’s eight feet off the ground, if you’ve got a levitating dog” – Father Bob Macguire

I think there’s something in that for all of us.

SS ‘06 – Pride and Leadership

One of the most memorable and challenging workshops at Soul was the Leadership seminar held by Mike Pilavachi. Now Mike has a lot of good things to say, buy viagra and I have a huge amount of respect for him and what he has done, sickness but my expectations of his seminar were fairly low. Rocking up to Soul Survivor every year means that it is fairly rare for Mike to stray too far off stories and messages that you’ve heard before. But Mike’s seminar really challenged me to take a sober look at where I’m at.

Obviously it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that a big part of Mike’s talk was about the attitude that leaders need to take, thumb and the sort of person who should be in leadership. But Mike took a really straight-shooting approach. He went with the line that if you’re the sort of person who looks for opportunities to lead, and that you see something being done and you think about how you’d do it better, then you’re not called to leadership. And at face value that is an easy thing to fob off – “sure that’s not me”, but when you’re forced to step back and take a look at you own attitudes, it can be quite confronting.

So I’ve started being very deliberate about checking my motives for leadership. And seeking to avoid situations where I am likely to get suckered into putting myself on a pedestal. It’s so easy to want people to notice what you’re doing. But in Christian leadership your motivation has to come from a heart of compassion towards those you are leading, from desperation to see them helped, and out of love for the father. Any other drivers can only end badly.

I was super-encouraged though. I dragged a couple of my up-and-coming-leader type youth along, one of whom has a fairly upfront role in church. And despite it not entering my head, she came to me straight after and was really questioning her own motives for leading, to the point of contemplating stepping back. It’s so nice to have your teenagers take a serious look at their own pride issues, and it certainly takes a lot more maturity than is often prevalent in lots of Christians.

Soul Survivor ‘06

Well I’ve been meaning to post earlier but it’s been a bit crazy back at work which tends to make for not much enthusiasm when I get home. And while Soul Survivor was spiritually refreshing, sales the poor old body takes a little recovering. But on with the post…

I must admit that my expectations for Soul this year were pretty low, not only was there the law of diminishing returns with respect to youth festivals, but I was going as the only one on our youth team who could make it this year and so was expecting to do a fair bit of hand holding, particularly given that we had a few year 7/8s who were rocking up for the first time.

But on a personal level Soul really delivered. God came and dealt with some issues that have been lying around for quite a while, in particular to do with fear, and also really freed me from some of the crap that is still lying around from the break-up. I had a chat on Saturday night with the ex, just because things were a bit weird and I really needed to get some of that junk out of my system, and then we both ended up going to the late night worship (separately). And in that time God just really broke off the last strings that were tying me to that relationship and helped me to see the girl as just another person. It really was one of the most real experiences of freedom I’ve ever felt. God was so amazingly in it.

I really got heaps out of the workshop program this year as well, where there was some high quality stuff, and I’m desperate to hear some of the seminars I didn’t make it along to. Fortunately I’ll be able to do that because the Soul Survivor team were selling the recordings of every seminar and session in MP3 onto a CD. Which will be so good! I’m already watching the mailbox for it to come.

Hopefully I’ll post again, slighly less personally and slightly more topically because there was some real thinkers that Soul Survivor brought up in me. But for the moment, it’s probably enough to say that God is just really really faithful.

My 5 Top 5s for ‘05 (aka 55405)

’tis the season for retrospectives. So 5 fives of 05 seemed like an obvious way to go. I’m sure that some will disagree with most and that most will disagree with some. But it’s all fairly personal.

  1. Top 5 Podcasts (what with Podcasting being word of the year and all)
  2. Top 5 Sporting Moments
  3. Top 5 Albums I’ve Listened To (not neccessarily released in 05)
  4. Top 5 Things That Made Me Cry
  5. Top 5 Things That Inspired Me

1. Top 5 Podcasts

  1. The Ricky Gervais Show – I’ve very almost caused myself to get into a lot of trouble laughing at this at work. Sooooo funny
  2. Speaking In Tongues – Many of you would be aware of this SBS TV Show, generic few are aware you can download it as a video podcast. Single handedly made me feel justified in having bought a video ipod.
  3. Cinecast – This bi-weekly film buff podcast has inspired me to see plenty of films that are on the less general release side of things.
  4. Triple J’s Hack Podcast – I’m normally on the train or at work when this get airplay on radio, cure but this youth oriented current affairs program regularly challenges me on the plight of youth in this nation.
  5. Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code – Sure the guy might be up himself a lot of the time, but he’s got just enough British in him to keep the American in check. And he’s doing good work. And he’s funny.

Honorable Mention: Engadget Podcast

2. Top 5 Sporting Moments

  1. The 2005 AFL Grand Final – What a game! And seeing West Coast go down like that, with the Leo Barry heroics was beautiful to watch
  2. Socceroos going to the world cup – I was hoarse for days afterwards. And being a hack ex-goalkeeper, it was really nice seeing Schwarzer being the hero.
  3. The Ashes – Despite a nasty end, it cost me more sleep than I’d like to admit.
  4. Richmond’s early season form – Being a long (and I mean long, not quite old enough to remember the glory days) suffering Tigers man, you have to clutch at anything. And being top 4 for half the season was a beautiful feeling, even if the inevitable fall from grace was heartbreaking.
  5. Marat Safin at the Australian Open – Although like 99% of Aussies I wanted to see Lleyton take him down in the final, I loved seeing Marat take down Federer. He was the only man who looked capable of beating him, and it was unbelievable to watch.

Honorable Mention: Mixed Netball Runners Up!

3. Top 5 Albums

  1. Wolfmother, Wolfmother – Real fun rock. This is the album that is the most likely to make me do spontaneous air guitar/drums since “Get Born” by Jet
  2. X&Y, Coldplay – Wasn’t initially convinced, and I think Speed of Sound is a rubbish song, but Kingdom Come and Fix You are two of the best songs I’ve heard in years.
  3. Grace, Jeff Buckley – It’s an old favourite. And there’s no other album that compares when you’re getting over a break up
  4. How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb, U2 – They just keep doing it. Consistently good. And I’m going to their concert!
  5. We’re Already Gone/Learn Yourself, The Beautiful Girls – This band is so classy. Just really good music. Couldn’t separate the two albums, I got onto Learn Yourself early this year, and We’re Already Gone in the past couple of months

Honorable Mention: Jamie Cullum, early Michael Jackson, James Blunt, Bernard Fanning

4. Top 5 Things That Made Me Cry

  1. Breaking Up – Sure I’ve already mentioned it in previous posts, and it’s pretty much a given. It hurt real bad. Still does. Welcome to life.
  2. Young Faith – It’s the little glimpses that do it. The 13 year old who is actually worshipping for the first time. The Year 9 who is praying for someone. The teenager with a prophecy. That’s why I still do youth stuff after 4 years.
  3. Cronulla – It takes a lot to make me ashamed of being Australian. That just about did it. Those race riots represent the antithesis of what makes me proud to be Aussie.
  4. Hotel Rwanda – If only “never again” actually meant that. Compulsory viewing
  5. Poor Old Nathan Brown – If I ever have to see the footage of tiger-hero Nathan Brown’s leg breaking again, I’ll vomit. Killed the season for the mighty Tiges and provided some nasty nightmares for little kids

Honorable Mention: God, babies dying, tsunami’s and earthquakes all omitted as “too obvious”

5. Top 5 Things That Inspired Me

  1. Being In Love – Sure it’s hurting now, but gee it was good while it lasted. And despite anything and everything else, that was an amazing God thing. It has definitely changed me for the better.
  2. Victorian Vineyard State Conference – Really good things from Rich Nathan and David Parker that changed lots of my outlook on ministry, and in particular my teaching. Unbelievable stuff.
  3. Australia’s response to the Boxing Day Tsunami – Despite Cronulla, Australia’s compassion in response to a horrific event showed that we are gooder than we are badder.
  4. My Youth Guys – I know I’ve given them a mention, but they blow me away. Just when they frustrate you the most, there’ll be a little God moment, and it’s all worth it again.
  5. Live8 and Make Poverty History – The campaign has taken social justice out of small pockets of resistance, and harvested the general goodness of people to build a message that will not easily be silenced. Whether you like their methods or not, there must be good that comes out of that sort of outcry.

Honorable Mention: I’m sure this isn’t really the best of the best, but the point is there.

2005 – The Year of the Humanitarian?

With Time Magazine naming Bono and Bill and Melinda Gates as “Persons of the Year”, the worlds compassionate response to the Boxing Day Tsunami, the global event that was Live8 and (still is) the Make Poverty History campaign. And the really encouraging thing is seeing the way that church leaders, and christians in general, are right there in amongst it. You never know, the words of Christ might almost be a chance of coming true:

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35 (NIV)