I think I did it…

When I got back from holidays recently over half of my email was spam. Frustrating…

For the last two weeks I have been experimenting with different spam programs trying to find a suitable solution. None of them have grabbed me enough to spend my hard earned cash on.

Then I had an idea…

I have a g-mail account that forwards to my home email account and Google have done a good job filtering spam so far. I started thinking… Maybe if I filter my email thru gmail I will be able to use it as a free spam filter.

My first attempt was a bit of a botch!

I had my isp re-direct all my mail to my gmail account which then forwarded it to my home email… which then of course forwarded it to my gmail… which then… you get the idea?!

Ok – having mail travelling in circles was not the idea.

So I rang my ISP and asked for another email address.

Now mail sent to hamo@brightontown etc gets redirected to my gmail which then forwards it to my alternative email address and in the process elimimates the spam.

The great benefits of this mode of email are:

– a free spam filter (that works better than the ones I downloaded)

– I can delete all mail on my computer now because it is stored online at gmail with 3 gigs of storage

– quick search facility for ‘that email I just can’t find’

I may do a complete switch to gmail one day, but for now I am testing the system and seeing if it works. I have some gmail invites so if you want one then drop me a line.

At last

Grendel, Ian and I had planned to go to the river today, but as the breeze was quite moderate this morning we figured we’ve save the drive time and hit the ocean.

Funnily enough as we left the marina it kicked up again and got nice and choppy!

Anyway, we anchored inside the first reef out of the wind and swell and began casting. Three hours later we were up to 36 fish of various kinds and feeling pretty happy about the whole deal. Given my fishing record today rates as 5 star!

Hamo’s Top 5 in 2005

Ok… here they are folks my top 5 reads for 2005… My favourite ‘most read’ blogs:

At No.1 No Guarantees – Scott Vawser – fellow coach to youth pastors and also my own ministry/life coach. I like Scott as a bloke so naturally I enjoy reading his stuff. He is also on a very similar trajectory to us so its been great to share that journey.

No. 2 Radical Congruency – Justin Baeder – a bloke who is also walking a similar path, has a good sense of humour and a decent theological mind. Justin also hosts this blog very cheaply. Contact him if you need good blog hosting!

No. 3 Jesus Creed – Scott McKnight isn’t a bad theologian either (aussie understatement) and I have really appreciated his take on what is happening around the place as a professor who can explain things in terms ordinary people can grasp.

No. 4 His Method – Bruce Chant – a local church planter doing his thing about 6 kms down the road from us. Bruce is the pastor of the local AOG church in Mindarie (Northshore). Its been really good to meet up face to face a few times and share some similar passions.

No. 5 The Rev – my good friend John Jensen just pips Phil Baker for no.5! John doesn’t write as often as he should – probably cause he’s lazy. But when he does he can tell a good story and invent some great heresies. Any American who can bowl leg spinners is worth an honourable mention!

So there you have my reading preferences. Congratulations Scott Vawser on your incredible status as Hamo’s no 1 fan. It will undoubtedly lead to numerous speaking and writing engagements in the future 🙂 Or it might mean nothing at all…

Other blogs I have been browing and enjoying lately just as a bit of a nosy bugger include:

Ryan Bolger – I really like what this bloke writes – great resonance in the ideas.

Bro Maynard – another very interesting read – and someone who has linked to me a few times and thus is a valued friend!

Barro – Aussie bloke doing the same stuff as we are only in Melbourne. We met up at the Forge Summit and clicked pretty well. I like earthy people like Barro!

Taken to its logical conclusion…

I am a bit over the ‘incarnational / attractional debate’ and find myself yawning most days when it is raised, however this article highlights the dangers of simply doing whatever it takes to pull a crowd. If the aim of the game is to get more punters in the house on Sunday then why not attract them with the offer of a free house?… What the?…

FWIW Justin has done a good job comparing three different forms of evangelism – the confrontational, attractional and incarnational. Yes yes… I know these are not mutally exclusive etc etc… but what he does is actually highlights the strenghts and weaknesses of each mode.

I have always said that the way we (upstream) are choosing to approach things has some inherent weaknesses – because every system does – but as I look at the options, the ‘missionary’ approach to developing a church community (which is not neccesarily exclusively incarnational) is the one that I believe has the most currency theologically.

Yes its slow in its start up, but it does avoid the temptation to simply put on a better show so the crowds will come. Local Perth folks may be interested in the reflections of Andrew Dowsett on his time here in the land of Oz. Andrew is no mug and has some interesting observations from the point of view of one looking in from the outside. (I haven’t agreed with all of his thoughts – but I appreciated the way he put them out there)

Next year will be interesting in Brighton as we get another new church moving in. The Apostolic crew will be here as of April and they will be doing essentially the same kind of stuff as the Anglicans and the AOGs. I dropped in to see one of the church plant team yesterday – a really nice bloke – and I hope it goes well for them – but that will make 3 small churches all doing very much the same thing in this community alone and it will inevitably make competition for ‘market share’ fairly rigorous!

While I respect the leaders in these different churches – one has become a very good friend this year – and appreciate that their call is from God, whatever form it takes, I not at all convinced that Australia simply needs more of the same in the realm of church forms.

My mantra for a long time has been ‘many kinds of churches for many kinds of people’.


Love this week!

I love the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Its the holiday you have when you’re not on holidays!

So few people are at work that its pointless trying to function as normal, so this week has been a ‘hanging with friends week’.

We spent Monday in the park with local Brighton friends, Tuesday out on the river with Stu and family, Wednesday my brother and I went fishing and the Masons came for dinner and then today we went to the zoo with Nick and Kellie.

Tomorrow Grendel, Ian and I are going fishing again and then Saturday is new years eve where we have no firm plans yet.

Its been really nice to actually have time to hang out rather than catch up and then move on. Hopefully next week we’ll get to see Narnia with some of the local crew and maybe even spend a night camping in Moore River.

It might be a case of going back to work for a holiday!

With the Wind

Today we went to the zoo and then on the way home I had Danelle drop me around 20 kms from home so I could cycle the rest.

I was pretty buggered from walking round the zoo all day, but the beauty of the ride home was that the wind was at my back the whole way. What a difference it makes!

May the wind be at your back in the year ahead.yonkers joe movie download

Merry Christmas from the Land of Oz

As a migrant from the northern hemisphere the hot Aussie Christmas has always felt a bit incongruous!

This year we haven’t that problem much though. Today’s 27 C is about the hottest its been in the last month.

Wherever you are thanks for taking the time to stop by and read and may you enjoy the Christmas season and its true significance.

Hamo’s Christmas Thoughts

This was what I wrote as a ‘Christmas thought’ for our local Brighton newspaper:

Last Christmas I sat and watched my kids while they unwrapped their presents. As they opened each gift in turn it seemed their focus was simply on getting that one out of the way so they could see what was in the next package and the one after that. After she had unwrapped all of her presents my 4 year old daughter didn’t actually sit down and start playing happily. Instead, she asked ‘What’s next? Do I have more presents daddy?’

Of course there were more to come and later in the day after we had visited family and friends, we arrived home with an enormous swag of new toys, clothes and lollies. As I looked at the pile of loot and reflected on the day that had passed I felt disturbed. I wondered what message we were sending to our kids and what we were teaching them about life.

While much of Christmas is focused on the experience of giving and receiving gifts – something we certainly ought to enjoy – we do well to remember that at its core the Christmas story is about the gift that was given to the world in Jesus Christ, the one who’s birthday we celebrate, the one who said ‘a person’s life is not defined by what they own’.

Because after all, little kids grow up to be big kids and old habits die hard.

The Goss

It was great to catch up with Glen and Lara Goss and family yesterday.

These guys are coming back to Oz in two years time to plant a church somewhere in the burbs, but for now are working and living in Atlanta. They are mates of Justin’s after being involved with their community recently – small world hey?

These guys have beel a real encouragement to us and we’re looking forward to staying in touch and hooking up with them when they return to Oz.

Don’t we need more missionaries here in Perth?!!