The (other) Last Post… No really!


I would be the first to admit that my exit from blogging world last week was rather a snap decision – albeit a right one – and as a result I hadn’t thought thru what to do with this blog… whether to delete it, keep it, hide it etc… all that sort of stuff.

Having chewed on it for a week I have decided to leave it up intact, as I do hope to be back writing again when this break is over.

Many thanks to all who have commented and written. It is really nice to know that what you do is appreciated and valued. I regularly read thru all the blogs listed on the sidebar so I will be able to stay in touch with your life as much as you choose to post and reveal!

Also, after pulling the plug, I remembered that I did agree to write 3 blog book reviews for people who have sent me their latest publications. I will probably post those reviews on here at some stage over the rest of 2007 as I want to honour those commitments.

In the meantime the ‘backyardmissionary test pattern’ is in place and this time I will actually leave you with some words that have been significant to me in the last week as I move into a different place in life for a while:

The Message Col 3:1-4

Colossians 3:1-2 So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ-that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.

3-4Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life-even though invisible to spectators-is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you’ll show up, too-the real you, the glorious you.

Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

Last Post

It’s been an interesting start to the year and I have been sensing some changes afoot in the Hamo household, particularly in my own life.

One of those changes is that I am going to be giving up blogging for at least two years if not permanently. It’s a long and somewhat personal story that doesn’t really belong online, but over the last few days I have become increasingly convinced that this is something I need to do.

As I listen to God, I sense some other significant changes coming also, but unless you know me personally you probably won’t ever get to hear what they are now!

I realise this is pretty sudden and ‘out of the blue’, but chances are if I sit on it too long I will talk myself out of it, so I’m just going to ‘jump’.

As I contemplated my ‘last post’ I felt that in the spirit of this blog it ought to be provocative, raw, silly or maybe even a little vulgar” but” nope” this is it”

So, to all readers, commenters and lurkers (is it just me or do ‘lurkers’ sound like people who hang out in public toilets after dark?!) thanks for being part of my life and ruminations these last 4 years as I have shared it online.

I have loved the interaction and conversations that this blog has stirred, both online and offline, and I will miss it a heap.

Hopefully will see you in ‘real’ life some time!

The tag thing

I don’t normally do these things, but just thought I’d give it a shot as I am living on my own this week with Danelle and kids in Moore River until Friday and I have lots of spare time. (It reminds me of what it is like to be single again!) It was Bek who ‘tagged me. If you haven’t been to her site then you ought to check it out. She has some great stuff to say.

1. What’s the most fun work you’ve ever done, and why?

Selling shoes at Myers Karrinyup on a Thursday night as a 17 year old. It was so boring that I used to approach customers with different accents – sometimes Irish, sometimes Yorkshire, sometimes American etc. It was a hoot until someone would come back for a second look and the ‘Irish’ guy they spoke to 15 mins ago was now an ‘American’… Ah… the things we used to do to stay sane in casual retail!…

2) Name one thing you did in the past that you no longer do but wish you did?

Running – I used to run a lot – which is the reason I can’t run now! Tendonitis of the ilio-tibial tract means I can walk 2 or 3 kms before the knee buggers up…

3A) What two things would you most like to learn or be better at, and why?

Writing – I think I could make a go of writing, but I am a bit unsure of the processes involved in going from idea to entire book.

How to fix things – I am much better at this, but usually if something breaks I tend to call a professional and spend my time doing stuff I enjoy!

3B) If you could take a class/workshop/apprenticeship from anyone in the world, living or dead, who would it be and what would you hope to learn?

Roland Allen – I would like to pick this man’s brains on missionary movements.

4A) What three words might your best friends or family use to describe you?

Focused, determined, passionate

4B) Now list two more words you wish described you.

compassionate, thoughtful

5) What are your top three passions? (Can be current or past, work, hobbies, or causes)

Leaving out the God factor it would be, my family, the ocean, learning new things

6) Write-and answer-one more question that YOU would ask someone.

What wacky idea have you been playing with lately?

Ok – I would love to sell the house and use the $500 000.00 or so to buy a huge boat that we could live on. We could pen it up, live on it and be on the ocean any time we liked. Half a mil would buy a very very nice boat and I just reckon it’d be a bit of fun to live in a marina! If I were single again…

Another Scrap-booking Widower

Grendel has started another blog.

A man can’t have too many!

It is entitled ‘Scrap-book Widower’ and chronicles the agony of having a wife devoted to this weird and wonderful activity of scrapping. He is following on from this blog.

Danelle has been a scrapper for quite some time now. She did the whole consultant thing, but she just isn’t a saleswoman and never really did that well. She tends to give more stuff away than she sells! Apart from loving photography (and being pretty good at it) she got into it as a way of preserving and sharing stories – much like I do on here.

She does some great stuff and I am glad for her scrapping because if it were down to me the pics would never get out of the envelope the developer sends them home in! I have been struck by the emotion a good ‘page’ can evoke – these are memories well preserved.


And this is where it all goes pear shaped…

We moved into this house 3 years ago and I took the smallest room in the house (except for the toilet) to use as my study. I use it everyday and it is tiny.

Danelle has an office out the back in the kid’s play room which she uses for some scrapping and then recently she co-oopted the lounge room for more rest stop don t look back dvd scrapping. So now this ‘hobby’ is slowly taking over the house. She has two huge rooms for her hobby and I get a room the size of a walk in robe to work out of…

Somebody got conned!

Bloody scrappers!ghost town divx movie online

Coffee Snob News

Tomorrow night is coffee roasting (and drinking) night at Grendel’s night listener the divx online place. We will be kicking off around 8pm so if you’re curious about roasting coffee from home and would like to drop in then you’re most welcome.

Just drop us an email and we will send you the address. Its always a good night!

We are also in the process of setting up a trip down to the famed 5 Senses homebase in Rockingham – probably for some time in March/April. While their coffee is excellent their bigger picture vision is also one we would want to endorse.

It would need to be week day and probably an afternoon, so if you are keen then register your interest in the comments as well as a preferred week day and we will try to accomodate as many as possible.

Can mediums bring up the spirits of the dead?

Its a question I am pondering at the moment, following a conversation with some friends on Friday night.

I have always been taught that ‘mediums’ do not draw on the actual spirits of the people but simply access other spirits who masquerade as such.

But… as I was reading 1 Samuel last week I came across this passage which got me thinking again:

3 Now Samuel was dead, and all Israel had mourned for him and buried him in his own town of Ramah. Saul had expelled the mediums and spiritists from the land.

4 The Philistines assembled and came and set up camp at Shunem, while Saul gathered all the Israelites and set up camp at Gilboa. 5 When Saul saw the Philistine army, he was afraid; terror filled his heart. 6 He inquired of the LORD, but the LORD did not answer him by dreams or Urim or prophets. 7 Saul then said to his attendants, “Find me a woman who is a medium, so I may go and inquire of her.”

“There is one in Endor,” they said.

8 So Saul disguised himself, putting on other clothes, and at night he and two men went to the woman. “Consult a spirit for me,” he said, “and bring up for me the one I name.”

9 But the woman said to him, “Surely you know what Saul has done. He has cut off the mediums and spiritists from the land. Why have you set a trap for my life to bring about my death?”

10 Saul swore to her by the LORD, “As surely as the LORD lives, you will not be punished for this.”

11 Then the woman asked, “Whom shall I bring up for you?”

“Bring up Samuel,” he said.

12 When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, “Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!”

13 The king said to her, “Don’t be afraid. What do you see?”

The woman said, “I see a spirit coming up out of the ground.”

14 “What does he look like?” he asked.

“An old man wearing a robe is coming up,” she said.

Then Saul knew it was Samuel, and he bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.

15 Samuel said to Saul, “Why have you disturbed me by bringing me up?”

“I am in great distress,” Saul said. “The Philistines are fighting against me, and God has turned away from me. He no longer answers me, either by prophets or by dreams. So I have called on you to tell me what to do.”

16 Samuel said, “Why do you consult me, now that the LORD has turned away from you and become your enemy? 17 The LORD has done what he predicted through me. The LORD has torn the kingdom out of your hands and given it to one of your neighbors-to David. 18 Because you did not obey the LORD or carry out his fierce wrath against the Amalekites, the LORD has done this to you today. 19 The LORD will hand over both Israel and you to the Philistines, and tomorrow you and your sons will be with me. The LORD will also hand over the army of Israel to the Philistines.”

20 Immediately Saul fell full length on the ground, filled with fear because of Samuel’s words. His strength was gone, for he had eaten nothing all that day and night.

So – the questions are:

– who was Saul seeing?

– who do practicing mediums see today when they try to ‘call up dead people’?

Lewis on priorities

“The real problem of the Christian life comes where people do not usually look for it. It comes the very moment you wake up each morning. All your wishes and hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists simply in shoving them all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that other larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in.”

C.S. Lewis, in Mere Christianity

Over the last few years I found my morning routine involved waking up and then after getting the kids breakfast and getting my own breakfast I would flick on the laptop to check email and read a few blogs. This year we were offered the ‘West Australian’ newspaper home delivered for $2.00/week until July and I said ‘yes’ to that. So now I had email, blogs and newspaper to read first thing… And then there is everything to do each day…

I found that often by the time I had dealt with email and blogs I wasn’t getting around to time in the scriptures, but was heading off to work. Now with a newspaper to read it only exacerbated the issue.

This year I thought it would be a simple practice to simply rearrange the order of the variables to reflect what I would like download smart people online my life to be shaped by, so part of my personal practices for 2007 involves not turning on the laptop or opening the paper until I have spent some time reflecting on scripture. I have also made Saturday a ‘computer off’ day.

Its so easy for stuff to get out of kilter and for us to not actually live out of the priorities we say we hold. I’m not one for a 30 minute ‘quiet time’. I’m more for spending time with God and sometimes it will be 15 mins and sometimes a couple of hours. I don’t think the time value is the key, but I do think regularly putting yourself in the space to meet God does allow for personal renewal.

Its easy for things to get out of control.

Its also very easy to make choices to re-shape the way we live.

Funnily enough that newspaper doesn’t get read very often!good dvd divx glory

Disturb us Lord

Sir Frances Drake, the first Englishman to navigate the globe spoke these words in prayer:

Disturb us, Lord, when

We are too well pleased with ourselves

When our dreams have come true

Because we dreamed too little,

When we arrived safely

Because we sailed too close to shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when

With the abundance of things we possess

We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;

We have ceased to dream of eternity

And in our efforts to build a new earth,

We have allowed our vision

Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,

To venture on wider seas

Where storms will show your mastery;

Where losing sight of land

We shall find stars.

We ask you to push back

The horizons of our hopes;

And to push us in the future

In strength, courage, hope and love.

Sir Francis Drake, December 1577

Just to confuse you…

This year Danelle and I will be going back to a traditional church.

No I’m not kidding. I will explain in a moment, but first a digression.

If technorati were working properly then yesterday I would have finally made it to the first page of blogs tagged with ‘Emerging Church’ and I would have been able to bask in my considerable fame… (tongue now coming out of cheek) but for some reason mine doesn’t show up on their lists any longer and I have been denied this much needed ego gratification…

Since then Jamie has clocked another two links and bumped me out anyway! (Then again if TSK didn’t hold 3 of the top 10 spots everybody would have a much fairer shot 🙂 )

Ok – enough narcissistic frivolity…

I’m pretty sure everywhere I go these days my name gets linked to the ’emerging church’ and that’s fine as far as it goes. I’m guessing it causes people who don’t know me to think of me in certain ways – like this kind hearted blogger who has been criticised by some emerging church guys and writes:

“I just love that-here you have 15-20 people”usually guys, who sit in rooms smoking cigars and drinking beer, debating theology while the world around them goes to hell”and somehow they think they’ve “got it!” In my opinion the only thing that needs to “emerge” from the emerging church is their head out of their rear ends so that they can better listen to God and fulfill the Great Commission.”

What can you say to that?…

Others would perceive us less harshly and still others who know us would see us differently again. Such is the limitations of this online medium.

So chances are when I say that Danelle and I have decided to get involved again with a tradtional church some of you might wonder what the hell is going on. Have we ‘deserted the ship?!’

So here’s the story…

Over the last year or so I have been praying each day that we will have some older Christians 60+’s come and join us at Upstream to add a different dimension to our group and I have been praying that we will know how to diversify the community we are currently creating.

But after a year of praying and seeking some people out, it hasn’t happened.

I believe diversity and variety in a Christian community is incredibly valuable and important and I would like us (Danelle and I) as well as our kids in contact with a wider range of people than we currently see regularly.

On the Sunday morning of Christmas eve we went to mum and dad’s church (Scarborough Baptist

) a smaller community about 40 minutes south of where we live – the church where I grew up and where I served as a youth pastor for 5 years. Over that morning I was deeply aware again that we were missing some of what was happening in this community. And as I sat around the morning tea table with some of the old guys and chatted about fishing I was also aware of how much we are still loved and valued by the people there – and also awae of how much we love them and value them too.

I sensed God speaking again about the need to do something in regard to placing ourselves in more diverse community and I felt like he was saying ‘why not here?’. We have several churches up this way that we could get to quicker and easier, and that also have many more programs for kids as well as the bells and whistles that are supposed to be so vital to church life, but we have made a commitment to be part of the Scarborough Baptist Community once a month for this coming year because of the sense of community we experience there.

We know we aren’t going to be wowed by funky music or extravagant programs – but the further along I go, the less I care for these things. What I do know is that we will be in a community of people where we will be loved and supported (because many still know us from the old days) and where our kids will be able to engage with a much wider range of people than at present. We have also offered to contribute what we can as we are able so that we aren’t spectators in the scheme of things.

Is it a big decision for us to head back to a ‘normal’ church?

Not really.

And I say that because despite pursuing an experimental approach to church and despite seeing the flaws in the traditional system we didn’t ever step out because of that.

It just feels like the ‘right thing’ to do at this juncture.

So on the first Sunday of each month we will make the drive down to Scarborough to join a bunch of people who are in many ways (by contemporary church standards) quite unimpressive – but amongst whom we feel a strong sense of love and connection. My hope is that as we do this we will be stretched and grown in our discipleship and we will also be able to challenge some of the people there with some of what we have been learning up here.

And Perry – if I ever do get my head out of my arse long enough I may just drop in at your church and say hello… might even put some money in your offering…

Then again…