GAPP Day 2 and 3. Monday 4th and Wednesday 6th July

•July 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

14 hours after the dinner we were back helping at the Glebe Assistance and Partnership Program (GAPP) 9.30am in the morning.
The cloudy and cold morning even made it harder to get up and arrive on time! (as I found out)

Monday 4th of July – Arts and Craft Day.
We were setting up 2 tables. One table had a bunch of hard paper cards and intricate pictures to colour in. The other table had a variety of silk paints and white silk handkerchiefs and scarfs.

Largely due the overcast and rainy weather, the day moved slowly as not many people came in that day.
I decided to paint the Harbour Bridge with a backdrop of fireworks. However planning and executing this took some time. It took about 2 hours for me to layer and paint the final drawing. Unfortunately there was a folded crease in the handkerchief, which made painting straight lines difficult.

The highlight of my day was sitting in a client consultation with one of the volunteer councilors and listening to the woman’s story. Just observing and trying to understand what she may being experiencing. After the consultation, we gave her a number of food vouchers and a food pack before she left.
To listen to that woman detail her problems and feelings in life, certainly makes you realise, how much we can sometimes trivalise our problems in life.

Wednesday 6th of July – BBQ day
Just like Monday, the day started out wet. overcast and rainy. The weather certainly was not on our side.
There were about 4 people who came in that day, including an artist who was riding his bike home (which was overlooking the ANZAC Bridge). He stayed for the BBQ and talked extensively to myself and others on the Credo team about his art. He was into clay sculptures and oil paintings.

After the BBQ lunch we had a bible study in the hall where Paul the pastor of the church led.
On reflection the bible study was very relevant to our experience of welcoming and befriending other community groups. I think that confronted me the most, how we can be so bitter and build up prejudices on other communities. When Jesus himself was accepting of everyone.

These are the photos from both days

 Arts and Craft - Silk Painting the Harbour Bridge with Fireworks

There was an opportunity to do silk painting and card making.

 A Rainbow lorakeet bird in the community veggie patch

There were a few rainbow lorakeets which showed up after the mid-morning rain.

GAPP Signage

Signage for GAPP and The Real Meal

Cooking sausages at GAPP

Cooking sausages on the BBQ in the Garden during the Winter Warming Program

The Winter Warming BBQ food served in the main hall

Volunteers helping themselves to the BBQ Food

GAPP Volunteers

Volunteers present after the BBQ.

Veggie Patch with St Johns Church in the background

The Veggie garden is a patch at the front of GAPP, allowing people to grow their veggies and plants.

The Beetroot Mini plant in the Community Vegetable Garden

The veggie garden is a patch, at the front of GAPP to allow people to grow their veggies and plants.

Winter Warming 2010 GAPP festivities on St Johns Road

The Winter Warming Flyer showing the program for the week

I’m shaking my head after watching Compass on ABC tonight

•July 27, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I just tuned into the last 15 minutes of the TV series of Compass on Sunday night. The series is titled “Compass –  Christianity: A History” with the 7th episode which aired yesterday. In a nut shell quoting the TV guide, part 7 “tells the story of how Science, which had at first been championed by the Christian church, now threatens to make Christianity redundant.”

The episode description on ABC’s website is shown bellow:

Christianity: A History – God and the Scientists

For more than 1500 years Christians saw the Bible as the primary source of knowledge, but in the 17th Century a scientific revolution challenged the Christian view of the world. Eminent scientist Colin Blakemore interviews scholars and churchmen in order to understand how science transformed Christianity over the last four centuries. He shows how scientists born of the Enlightenment realised that the laws of the universe were there to be discovered, not read about in the Bible. He argues that science is the biggest challenge Christianity has ever had to face, and that it will eventually make religion unnecessary.

I did not agree with a lot of points he presented and conclusions he made. At the end of the show he said, the day we find out the part of the brain which makes us religious and turn it off. What will happen to religion then?
To this he concluded and said that science will make Christianity redundant.

In brief, I think it is wrong to even suggest such a thing. One can only come to this conclusion with assumptions which I think are clearly wrong. I can talk about it from a Christian perspective for a while, but I do not think that would be beneficial. So I will try and state my points concisely.

1. Christianity is a religion. And Christianity can be compared to all the major faiths, cults and spirituality practices
    After all its what we like to call religion
2. Religion gives us meaning, morals, an explanation, purpose and enlightenment for life
3. When we switch off the religion part of the brain, we may well become like robots. Some might call it Atheism, though I disagree with this conclusion.
4. For religion gives the reasoning for our existence and work

See science by itself will never tell us the answers to the big questions or confirm that God exists. Science is observations and hypothesis. It can never prove everything right or wrong. That is not the role of science. For if it was, our day to day thinking would be so, so different. Everyday actions would become pedantic and almost illogical in hindsight. We would analyse everything and make decision based on probability and statistics only.
Our knowledge is more like a spider web analogy. For example when we do research at the library on a topic, we look at a couple of sources and then form our web of ideas and facts, ever changing and growing from there.

We need to see past science, as the end all of all discussion. In fact, God gives reason for science to exist.

Note, this discussion is not an exhaustive post on the topic, but rather a point of view which should be discussed with your close friends.
For I do not believe that posting long arguments and rebuttals online really benefits anyone.
There are plenty more creditable sources out there. This is one source online, I would recommend. Public Christianity

Adding to my Mac Podcasts

•July 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I just finished watching the SSD Keynote podcast and the OptiBay podcast on the Typical Mac User Podcast by Victor Cajiao.
I think I’m pretty much sold on the idea of getting an OptiBay.

But for SSD hard drives I think we can all wait a moment longer and save $200. Unless if your working with intensive media software and files like animation and video.

Sometimes Testimonies need to rock

•July 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

During the 3 week university holidays I’ve developed a routine which often includes watching The Circle on Channel Ten and Channel Nine Morning news. However this morning I tuned into an interview with Lily Bragge on The Circle telling us about here life. She was promoting her new book “My Dirty Shiny Life”.

Channel Ten’s website Episode Run-sheet summarised the interview slot the best, so here is the excerpt.

Lily Bragge
Comedian and writer, Lily Bragge, discusses her gritty and shockingly honest memoir about her upbringing with a violent, criminal father, her survival of sexual abuse, heroin addiction, clinical depression and incarceration, and her ultimate redemption, finding solace in Christianity.
My Dirty Shiny Life by Lily Bragge, Pengiun, RRP: $32.95

As the interview went on, I was very interested as she began to describe the moment of where she became a Christian and followed by the shock of looking back at her life.
In effect when she was asked what was the turning point of her life, she gave a very concise and heartfelt testimony of how she recognise her past and how now in the future she has a new perspective on life.

Also on the book’s publishes website, there was this interesting Q and A of Lily, where this question in particularly which caught my attention.

Q What do you hope readers get out of your book – that any life can be redeemed?

A Yes and I’m hoping that if you hate the idea of what a Christian is, like I did for a long time, that you might go, ‘wow, this is an interesting perspective.’ Similarly with your views on what a junkie is. I hope that it subverts a lot of stereo-types and prejudices.

Finally, what motivated me to write this post out of all things?

Well about 3 weeks ago at Church bible study, we went through the nuts and bolts of writing a testimony. A testimony is essential how you became a Christian. So I found this absolutely interesting, as she balanced the act of telling her testimony in an interview type situation on TV. . She had a good combination of her previous life, the moment that convinced her to seek out God and now has found her new identity in Jesus Christ, through the help of Marina Prior and the Church.

So I thought her testimony rocked!

Easily Exposing Incompetence?

•July 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The NSW Government of Australia needs to have a good look at itself.

Many broken promises and backflips on infrastructure and transportation projects. Not to highlight the large waste of tax payers money. Lets not forget the failed project which were announced but not delivered or are being delivered 20 years later.

An ecept from an article in the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) titled ‘Inadequate’ submission puts NSW down the list by Alexandra Smith is shown bellow:
It is understood Infrastructure Australia chiefs had to send the NSW submission back three times because it did not adequately identify how the projects would “stack up”. It is understood the submissions from Victoria, South Australia and Queensland were much more impressive.
The article was published February 6, 2009.

In one year quite a lot of announcements and cabinet reshuffles has occurred. The most prominent has been the new Labor Party premier of NSW, Kristina Keaneally.

Recently on July 2, 2010. ABC news presented a story titled “NSW snubbed over infrastructure“, revealed how the Federal Government has denied funding for major transport infrastructure in NSW in favour of projects in Victoria and South Australia.

I wanted to checkout the website for myself. After all the Channel 7 News on that night did not report this. So I looked up the Australian Infrastructure website. Under the Publications section of the website, I found the latest report outlining the National Infrastructure Priorities.

Not surprising, to find no projects from NSW were listed as being of high priority. Surprisingly the North-West rail project backed by the private sector interest, made the list despite the project being scraped by the NSW government after numerous studies were conducted.

Lets not forget that nothing changes. All projects are late and go over-budget under the previous 3 Labor governments.

  • Health care Database of Patient history
  • Public Transport T-Card
  • New Bus Corridors
  • More frequent trains
  • Rail expansions
  • Spit Bridge
  • North-West Metro Link
  • M4-East
  • Lane Cove Bridge (it’s going ahead, but why?)
  • Cross-City Tunnel
  • V8 Supercars 2009 Sponsorship Deal

Finally, if I have not made it clear how much Labor is incompetent in managing NSW, look no further than this article in the SMH “Blowing the Wistle” published in August 22, 2009. The article breaks down each era of government, and their outlined policies in relation to Transport and Infrastructure. I read and cringe. I am sure most people in Sydney (especially NSW residences) would as well.

Note: I also found this SMH article after I wrote up the post. Click on the GRAPH: 100 YEARS OF TRANSPORT NIGHTMARES

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GAPP Day 1. Sunday 4th July

•July 9, 2010 • Leave a Comment

So as part of Credo’s Mid-Year Evangelism program a group of Credo students, are volunteering a few days at the Glebe Assistance and Partnership Program (other wise known as GAPP).

Some background information about GAPP is shown on the City of Sydney Council Website.

A new initiative by St Johns Church for people in the local neighbourhood who find themselves short of resources. We offer our commitment, our time, some expertise and some emergency relief funding. People who come to GAPP will be offered basic assistance with the opportunity to form an ongoing partnership with one of our volunteers.

Tonight Brendan, Crystal, Leo, Paul and I assisted at the “The Real Meal” event which occurs on the first Sunday night of every month.
“The Real Meal” event is where anyone off the street could come in and enjoy a free meal, listen to some live music and have conversations with other people. While we were eating, there was a small church service that consisted of a bible passage read out followed by a short sermon. Finally, we would recite the Lord’s Prayer and end with a closing prayer.

On this particular evening, Brendan read a passage from John and Paul gave a short sermon and also revealed how God had used a situation in his life where he was deeply saddened.

The night ended (just like it had begun) with live background music.

Overall we served 38 people that night, with a diverse range of people walking in the door. From a lady who had 3 university degrees to an overseas couple.

The atmosphere of the event was truly warm and inviting especially on a cold day and small hall!

The Dinner Table is Set

The Real Meal Event is ready.

Live Music at The Real Meal

We were entertained with the live musica during the meal.

Leo serving food at The Real Meal

Leo Serving food with a backdrop of the people

Dual Purpose Table Cloth

We encourage people to use the dinning table as a canvas to express themselves

Its a small point but worthy of a Snap

•July 5, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I recently read a post on Pixelated Photography blog by David du Chemin.

The post attacked people who refer to photos using words such as “pics” or “snaps”.
Being a freelanced and somewhat inexperienced competent photographer, I agree with his post.

An excerpt from his blog:

I’m not being pedantic, and I’m not trying to make trouble, honest I’m not. But honestly, if I hear one more person refer to the hard work of one of my friends as a “pic” I’ll, well, I’ll snap.

Words matter. We put so much effort into our craft, hoping to create work that resonates, that’s more than the sum of its parts. We wrestle to discover our vision and then to express it with these limited tools. We create work that we’re proud of. We hope, some of us, to bring that work to the broader world in books, exhibits, and prints. We risk. We fail. We triumph.

Consistent SLR users who churn out photo after photo on to websites, whether it be facebook, flickr or their blog, need to be taken seriously.
There is a wealth of energy and finest that sometimes goes into each image and that marks that photographer from the rest.

The first step is to start calling them photographers shooting our photographs.
Finally, I wanted to end with an excerpt from another photography blog, Photofocus. Though the post primarily answers “What camera should I buy?”, I wish to emphasis the passion,vision and story telling which goes into each photo.

Photography is about having a vision, a good eye, passion for the subject, great light, access, storytelling and heart. The camera equipment is just a tool designed to help capture the rest. I don’t know a single professional photographer who’s ever told me an editor refused to buy an image because the photographer used the wrong camera. It’s your eye, your vision, your ability to tell a story with the camera and your desire that matter most.
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