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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Three kids, all different

The first day my oldest daughter went to preschool, aged three, her response once in the gate was' "Bye mum, you can go now." From that first day, until now, she has had no problem leaving the nest, as long as there are children & things to play with.

Our second child was a bit slower, but it took very little time for him to get excited about being at daycare one day a week. In fact, he was so excited that the lady running the daycare decided he was to excited to stay, "to active" were her actual words. So he was expelled from daycare at two. Although, he is now well settled in a preschool, and is looking forward to starting big school next year.

Our third child will not have anything to do with daycare, he's not quiet two yet. His response to a room full of toys and other children his age is to cry for mum & dad. Today, mum tried leaving his stroller at the centre for security, so he sat in it and cried for mum & dad. The lady running the daycare pushed him, in the stroller, close to some toys and books (at home he loves books and often just sits and reads one, well he's not really reading. The other thing he really loves are balls, he can already throw and kick well.). His response was to get out of the stroller, push it back to where mum had left it, get back in and cry for mum & dad. At this point mum got a phone call and our youngest son was soon home and happy, and reading books.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Free Will?

I can across a blog post on free will this week and it reminded me of how I came to conclude that there is no such this as free will. However,  do not mean what most people would think I mean by this.

We all have a will (the capacity to make choices), but acts of the will (our choices) are never free. They are never free of consequences and they are never free of influences.

Every choice (act of will) has at least one consequence, sometimes more than one. Small choices usually have small consequences and big usually big. Sometimes a small choice can lead to a big consequence. A man decides to stay up and watch the late night movie, even though he has an early start in the morning, a small choice. A small consequence could be that the man is extra tired the next day. A big consequence is that the man falls asleep while driving to work, swerves onto the wrong side of the road and has a head with another car and kills a mother driving her kids to school. (of course,  the choice to drive while tried contributed to this consequence) This is an example of a choice leading bad consequences, there can also be good consequences coming from our choices. Whatever the consequence, we are responsible for the choices we make.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23

We never make any choices free of influence. Every aspect of our lives influence the choices we make, our upbringing, biology, temperament, world view, past choices, friends, family, health, mood, etc etc etc, all play a part. Our choices are never free of influence. I am not saying that we cannot help the choices we make, an influenced choice is still a choice. What is important is that we be as aware as possible of the influences in our lives that lead to bad choices, and work to negate them, so we can make the best possible choice we can.

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4

Friday, 24 February 2012

Rick's Writing story No.3

First I'm changing the days I blog to Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, It think this will work better. Blogger to e regular schedule has certainly increased my readership.

What have to do now is writing to a regular schedule!

When i decided to have a go at writing (a childhood dream) last year, I got all excited and rushed some stories just to get them into writing contests by the deadline. This does not work. However, since realizing the need to just get the story right first, then look to where I should submit it, I've gone off the boil.

I've got a story I'm working that I'm really liking, but I'm getting no where fast with it. I'm only looking at it about once a week, and when I do I just find myself editing what I've already written. I know that this is the wrong approach, but with no deadline I seem to lack the motivation to get on with it.

I need a schedule, so my aim is to have one by next Thursday. Then I can put what it is right here in the blog, and then follow it.

It's a plan.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

A Win is a Win

I'm currently playing in the City of Sydney Chess Championship. For those who know about chess tournaments it's a seven round open swiss event being played on Monday nights. I'm not a contender for the Championship, but I did win my division (rating group) last year. I also won tonight.

It was a good close game with a funny end. My opponent opened poorly and gave me an open center with good  attaching chances. However, he then defended well and survived my first attack. The game then developed into a tense situation focus on one of my pawns. In some time trouble my opponent took my knight, forgetting about a counter attack I had on his rooks. He mistakenly thought that this was going to lead to a totally lost game and resigned.

I was very surprised but accepted the resignation. I then showed how he could have survived my attack only slightly weaker, but still with some chances.

A win is a win.

I'm happy.:)

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Evidence No. 3

I'm a day late. I'm doing this Saturday instead of Friday, as planned, and it's going to be short.

Lot's of people want to say that Jesus really did not rise from the dead, and they have lot's of theories as to what 'actually' happened. Below are just a few.

  • Some disciples had visions of Jesus, so the story of the empty tomb was made up to account for them.
  • The tomb was empty, so they made up story's of seeing Jesus alive to account for it.
  • Jesus only appeared to die, but actually never hung on the cross.
  • Jesus was saved from dyeing on the cross by a secret conspiracy.
  • Jesus was never put in the tomb, that's why it's empty.
And there are many more.

The question one might ask is why are there some many different theories? or If Jesus didn't rise from the dead, why isn't there just one 'real' alternative? The answer is that all the alternatives to the Resurrection lack one thing, evidence.

Just about the only evidence concerning Jesus' death and resurrection are the Gospels and Paul's writings, and they all point to Jesus rising from the dead. There is no evidence that he did not.

If you'd like to know what my preaching is like go to:  

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Rick's Writing Story No. 3

This is going to be short, because I am very tired.

As I anticipated, the story I sent into the Stringybark Short Story Award 2011 did not rate place in the winners list. I'm now waiting to see what feedback I get. It is supposed to come within two weeks.

I'm now waiting to see if I've done any good in the 100 Words or Fewer Contest on the 15th of March.

I'm very tired, more next week.

Monday, 13 February 2012

They All Want Your Soul

Being the pastor of a small church, I have to earn a second income. I currently have a casual job that I like, but is not quiet ideal. So I looked around at some other ways to make a little money last year. I decided to look at self employment options as they would, I felt, give me the income and flexibility I was looking for.

I found this site on the internet where I could register interest in working for home type job's or self employment.  The web site worked and I had a good number of people contact me about opportunities. with the exception of two, they all involved the one thing I didn't want to do, recruit others. There were different brands, different products, different pitches, but they all had the same end. There was a product to sell, which would make you some money, but the real money was in getting others to sell for you. Actually, it was for them.

It's positively evangelical in it's methodology. Each one promised it's own brand of salvation, salvation from poverty into prosperity. They have all the tricks, slick presentations, a condensed "bible" to follow, bible study groups, I mean seminars, self esteem building conferences that look and feel like Billy Graham Crusades and very attractive leaders who can make you fell like your the most important person in the whole world.

I was amazed at how brazen some of them were. In one promo video I watched showed one of the leaders speaking her congregation, oops, I mean fellow members, at one of the conferences. She was excited by how bad the economy was, because it meant a boom in they business. The worst the economy, the more desperate people there were to be sucked into these businesses. They thrive on people's misery.

Anyway, you'll be surprised to learn that I didn't join any of them, I have my own church and I like it.

Friday, 10 February 2012

A Bit More About Evidence

In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells the story of the rich man and Lazarus (I don't regard this as a parable, others do, and whether or not it is makes no difference to what is being taught.). At the end the rich man wants to go back and warn his brothers, and Abraham concludes the story in verse 31 by saying, "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead." What this final statement is telling us this that the Bible is all the evidence needed to believe. The other side of this that if someone will not believe the Bible, no other evidence is going to convince them.

I recently found confirmation of this from the, recently deceased, atheist spokesperson Christopher Hitchens. In a clip on YouTube ( here is the link ) In it he clearly states that even if all the miracles in the Attributed to Jesus are true (including the Virgin Birth and Resurrection) it's still no proof that there is a God. His exact words are, "I'll give you all the miracles and you'll still be where you are now, holding an empty sack." He is effectively saying that the Bible is not evidence for God, neither is someone raising from the dead. This demonstrates the truth of Abraham's words in Luke 16:31.

Christopher Hitchens has pass away, so I'll  never know if I'm right, but I believe that even if he had a personal encounter with the living Christ, like Saul on the road to Damascus, he still would not have believed. Actually, if I'd had the chance to ask Christopher, I think he would agree.

One cannot believe in the God of the Bible without first believing the Bible. When it come to evidence of God, the Bible is the only evidence that really matters.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Rick's Writing Story No. 2

As mentioned last week I've entered two other writing contests, and am waiting for the results.

The first is the "100 Words or Fewer Writing Contest No. 9" with the theme of "Uncommon Character". For this I came up with a story about an Australian Leprechaun. One advantage of this contest is that they give you (for a price) a check mark evaluation and critique. I scored 47 out of 75 on the check mark and the critique was positive overall as they liked my story despite the hole they felt was in my plot. I'm very happy with the feed back and find out if I win or place by 17th of March. I think I have a chance of a honorable mention.

The second is the Stringybark Short Story Award 2011. For this I had to provide a short story (1400 words max) that had something Australian about it. I again went with an Australian Leprechaun story, it's about a young Leprechaun who sets up tourism business in Australian foe holidaying Irish Leprechauns. When I finished this, just a few days before the contest deadline, I realized that i had approached the story all wrong. I think the idea is good, but I wrote it all wrong. I agonized over if I should submit the story. In the end I decided to because this contest also offered feedback. I won't get the feedback until ten days after the winners are announce on the 14th of February. I'm not expecting to win or place in this contest, I'll know next week. I'm just hoping that the feedback will help me develop my writing.

Next I will be about my future writing projects and if I've done any good the the short story contest.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Speaking to myself

I don't have a lot of people reading this blog, and the few that do never leave any comments. It almost feels like I'm talking to myself.

The interesting thin is that now my blogs are out there, they are out there forever, well kind of. Ten or twenty years from now someone could still be reading this blog. For some reason it might pop up in a search and they'll read this and may ask why?

I don't know.

Friday, 3 February 2012


Some years ago I had a go at debating some atheists on an online forum. I learnt two things.

1. I'm not very good at debating atheists on an online forum.

2. For some atheists, if not many, it's not really about the lack of evidence for God.

In case you don't know, one of the big cries of the atheist cause is that there is know evidence that God exists. One way this stand is justified is by discrediting anything that might be considered evidence, like the Bible. In one of my debates online the opponent claimed that the Gospels could not be relied on because they were not historically accurate, in particular none of the claimed miracles had any external verification so they could not be regarded as history. I asked, "What if everything else in the Gospel that could be shown as accurate by external verification was shown to be accurate?" (or something like that, it was a long time ago). He's answer was that this would make the miracles even more unbelievable. I was stunned. He basically was saying that if the Gospel were bad history the miracles cannot be believe, and if they were good history they still cannot be believed.

So, for this atheist (and I have found many others who are of the same view), miracles, and therefor God, cannot be true, regardless of the evidence.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Rick's Writing Story No. 1

From the time I learnt to read at ten (yes ten years old, that's for another time) I've had a dream to be a writer. It's always been a dream to write science fiction and fantasy, what is now commonly called spec fiction.

I've had a number of false starts over the years, but for some reason I really got the bug about haft way through last year. At the same time as starting to write a story that had been in my head for some years, I discovered a magazine on writing called, "Writers Digest". As well as lots of articles on improving writing, I found they had a short story contests on there web site. The deadline for there spec fiction one was close, so I rushed writing my story, got a few people to proof read it (all family) and got it in by the dead line. I then got really annoyed when they put back the dead line, not once, three times. Anyway if I'd won or placed, I was supposed to get a letter (in the mail!) by the 31st of December 2011. I held out some hope because the contest was in the US, and I thought it might take longer for the letter to get to Australia. A month has passed, so now I'm fairly sure I didn't win. Which is not a real surprise. I reread the story the other day, it's called 'Bounty', and I think its' a good story, but I don't think it's well written. I decided to highlight all the parts that needed more work, there is more story highlighted than not. I also found two spelling mistakes, despite the spell check on my computer and all my proof readers, who all found many mistakes. Anyway, I'm going to give it a rewrite soon, find some new proof readers, and try again. Probably not a contest, more likely a magazine (or ezine) that prints short spec fiction stories.

In the mean time I've got another story I'm working on and two more in other online writing contests, but I'll get to that next week.