Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Carols By Candlelight

For those of you that don't know, every year in Melbourne there is a big 'Carols by Candlelight' service at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl. That's a huge outdoor music venue in the city. There are lots of solo performers each year and a big choir (about 150 people) that sing with them, and also sing carols on their own. This year I'm in the choir!

There are over 10,000 people there every year, and many, many more watching on tv. We had our first choir rehersal on Saturday morning. It sounded so impressive! It's a lot of fun. I was slightly skeptical going into it, but it really is great! And I get to do it with Kathryn, Lisa & Jacqui, so that's even more fun! I tell you what, the prissy choir women are so funny! It's like the higher the note you can sing, the better a person you are. What a crack up! Some people take it a bit too seriously. Not to say it's a joke, but I think they need to chill out a bit. Anyway, I'm really enjoying it. Watch for me on tv!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Blug frink durn...

That's about how well my brain is functioning right now. So much information... I've been studying for an exam I have tomorrow. It's all very interesting. It's a social psych exam, one of my favourite topics, but it's just so much information to try to remember at once. I'm feeling pretty confident about the exam though, so that's good.

I'm running a stall at the moment at church, and maybe other places eventually for 'Arguably The World's Most Useful Gift Catalogue'. Check out the online store here. Very worthwhile stuff!

Have you ever felt uncomfortable about having so much, when others have so little? Ever felt embarrassed about giving, or receiving a gift, when others go without? The gifts in this catalogue show friends and family we care, and provide really useful things for people in need. They're gifts for the people with much and for the people with little. You won't find lava lamps, fat-free chocolates or singing salmon inside this catalogue. Instead, you'll find the tree seedlings and toilets, goats and glasses that transform the lives of the world's poorest people.

This is one of the practical things we can do I was talking about in my last post. Watch the 2 minute video here

Thursday, November 23, 2006

What Can We Do?

Well I've talked a lot about justice and compassion, but what can we actually do short of moving to Africa? Hopefully I can give you some practical ideas of how to move forward with these massive ideas of global justice and compassion for all peoples.

Check this out. Arguably The World's Most Useful Gift Catalogue. We all have so much. I certainly don't need anything, but there are many things I want. I assume most of us are in the same boat. Instead of filling our lives with more 'stuff', what about giving to someone this Christmas who really needs, instead of giving superfluous things to people around us. Check it out.

Check out this site: Make Poverty History. You can sign the pledge to do your bit. Wear a white band, raise awareness. It's a great conversation starter with people. Read up on the website about things you can do to help. Send emails to politicians. Most of the time they draft them for you. You can cut and paste the email and send it in to have your voice heard.

If you're a Christian, check out this site: Micah Challenge. They are a sister organisation to MPH, but a Christian one. They talk a lot about how all of this relates to the Bible and that it is not a secular movement. Pray about these issues. Raise awareness in your churches and call for action.

Oxfam Australia do some wonderful things too. Check out their site to see how you can be invovled.

There are things like emailing Peter Costello, sending a Christmas card to John Howard, signing the online pledges with MPH and MC, subscribe to email updates to keep informed, run a TEAR stall to sell those gifts for others, buy things that support fair trade, be informed about the products you buy, don't support those who explot those in other countries.

There are so many practical things you can do. But most importantly, educate yourself. Find out what is going on in the world and figure out how you fit into that. Obviously we can't do everything, but if everyone does something we will make a difference.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Report!

Before I start, Glenn got himself a blog!

As promised, here it is! I have so much to say, I'll have to do it in little spurts I think. There is so much to say and so much action to take! It's all so exciting! I am totally passionate about the issues associated with caring for all our fellow humans. Let's stand together and not just think it's a nice idea, but live for change in our world!

More about action in days to come, I'll give you some easy practical steps we can all take to affect change in our world. For now, let me bang on about the concert on Friday night for a while. The most amazing concert I've ever been to! Such incredible acts! Such a great cause! It was amazing to see so many people united for a sole cause! Make Poverty History! We can do it! As Tim Costello said, we are the first generation that can make poverty history! We just need the will!

Here come the photos! You'll get them in alphabetical order of file name! This is Brent & I about 3/4 of the way through the night.

The overwhelmingly excited crowd! Well a small portion of them anyway. We got glow sticks that said "Make Poverty History" on them.

A long shot of the incredible Eskimo Joe! I'm in love with their music anew!

A photo of Evermore (well 2/3 of them anyway) on the big screen with the giant banner. Surprisingly they got the biggest response from the audience on the night! I generally like them, but they were the worst act.

There were about 4 giant beach balls with 'MAKE POVERTY HISTORY' on them being knocked around. Very fun!

The John Butler Trio! My favourite act of the night! They were incredible! I have also fallen in love with their music anew.

Jet closed the show and they were great. I'm loving their new music! However, the lead singer was chewing gum the whole time! Who does that?!

Kathryn & I at the Make Poverty History festival on the Saturday. Notice my lovely sunburn from the previous day...

This is Kathryn (also at the festival on Saturday) carying a bucket on her head to get water, in a kind of simuation for what people in third world countries have to do.

Lior singing a beautiful Hebrew prayer called 'Avinu Nalkeinu'

The boys I went to the concert with (Minus Rob). From left to right: Mark, Jad, Brent & Glenn

Paul Kelly. Brilliant!

A seriously over-exposed photo of Rob.

The wonderful Sarah Blasko. I adore her music. But she does look quite weird on stage. I think it's the way she moves.

And UJam!!! Who are they you ask? Well it's Pearl Jam, & Bono & The Edge from U2! Unbelievable! As a special surprise thing they opened the show with a kick arse song called 'Rockin in the free world'. All about making poverty history. It was soooooooo good! Bono is seriously a hero of mine!

Well there is my concert report. Much more still to come!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Make Poverty History

I have so much to tell you! The concert was incredible! In case you couldn't tell from my last post... The festival today was amazing too! I have lots of photos and lots to tell you. It's all been amazing and inspiring! Right now I'm sore and tired, so I'm going to go to bed. I'm sick and have lost my voice. Which is not so good seeing as I'm worship leading at church tomorrow... That might be interesting... I'll post photos and tell you all about it when I get some time. Busy weekend!


Make Poverty History


Full report coming. For now, I must sleep. I'm stuffed. BEST CONCERT EVER!!!!!!!

Friday, November 17, 2006

MPH Here I come!!!

I'm leaving now to get in line for the Make Poverty History concert! I'm so excited!!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Darfur Update

I found a great site that gives good, concise information about what's going on Darfur. Check this site out. Wikipedia also has some really good up to date information about what is being done about it.

There is some good news in the mdist of all the tragedy. After fighting worsened in July and August, on August 31, 2006, the United Nations Security Council approved Resolution 1706 which called for a new 20,000-troop UN peacekeeping force to supplant or supplement a poorly funded, ill-equipped 7,000-troop African Union Mission in Sudan peacekeeping force. Sudan strongly objected to the resolution and said that it would see the UN forces in the region as foreign invaders. The next day, the Sudanese military launched a major offensive in the region.

Wikipedia says:
On August 31, the UNSC approved a resolution to send a new peacekeeping force of 20,000 to the region. Sudan has expressed strong opposition to the resolution. On September 1, AU officials reported that Sudan has launched a major offensive in Darfur. According to the AU, over 20 people were killed and 1,000 were displaced during clashes that began earlier in the week. On September 5, Sudan has asked the AU force in Darfur to leave the region by the end of the month, adding that "they have no right to transfer this assignment to the United Nations or any other party. This right rests with the government of Sudan." On September 4, in a move not viewed as surprising, Chad's president Idriss Déby voiced support for the new UN peacekeeping force. The AU, whose peacekeeping force mandate expires on September 30, has confirmed that they will do so. The next day, however, a senior US State Department official who declined to be identified, told reporters that the AU force might remain in the region past the deadline, citing this possibility as a "viable, live option."

It looks like the UN has stepped in unwanted and caused even more problems, but I don't think that's the case. The innocent people of Sudan need to be protected. There are militia armies out of control doing unspeakable things to the people of Sudan and this needs to be stopped. It's Rwanda again! Since Feb 2003 an estimated 180,000 people have been killed! That's unbelievable!!!

So it seems that Sudan is still suffering from extreme acts of violence, poverty and hunger. But at least the UN has stepped in and decided to help the Sudanese people attempt to being the process of disengaging the conflict.

Don't forget about the free MPH festival this Saturday, especially if you missed out on tickets to the concert on Friday night. I can't wait! There are free screenings of the concert at places in Melbourne if you're not going on Friday night. Check out the docklands one, some great live bands are playing there too.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sick & Unearthed

I've managed to get sick. Doh! We just did some stuff on the relationship between stress and the common cold at uni yesterday. Seems appropriate. Being the end of semester I have lots of work to do, and now I'm sick. Doh. Fun things like a swollen throat, blocked sinuses, watery eyes. Yay... Twice today I blew my nose so much I made it bleed. I'm sure you wanted to know that!

Just got back from something called 'unearthed' run by a group called Global Interaction. Great stuff about mission in today's society. Lots of interesting things about how we get sucked in by what western culture tells us we should strive for, and what's really important. I guess the aim was to provoke thought and get people thinking about how we affect those around us and what our priorities are. Who do we live for? What is important to us? How do we live? Are we consumers? Or do we seek to make a positive difference?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Gotta love John Mayer! I adore his music. He is a real musician. This is him on Rove live a couple of weeks ago. So good!

Plus he has great hair these days...

Yes, I have discovered YouTube, and I am addicted!

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Now I think Wikipedia is great, but lately it's become a point of amusement! One of my favourite radio shows 'Get This' has been encouraging people to 'vandalise' particular Wikipedia pages. It's hilarious! Check out the pages of the hosts of the show, Tony Martin & Ed Kavalee, & panelist Richard Marsland. You can't edit them anymore because of 'vandalism'! Haha! 'Get This' is one of the best radio shows around, although I found that it took a while to adjust to it. It's an aquired taste simply because of it's strange format. It doesn't sound like most radio shows, it has a distinct flavour. I love it now. They are self confessed geeks who are very, very funny! I'd love to hang out with them, I think they'd make me giggle like a school girl! The show is on Triple M from 9 - 10am weekdays. You can podcast it if you like. Well worth it!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Real Stories

Check out some of the segments from Hamish & Andy's tv show 'Real Stores'. Funny stuff!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Make Affluence History

Check this site out. It's an interesting site that works well in conjunction with the Make Poverty History campaign. It's Make Affluence History. It's about personal responsibility, not just lobbying for governments to relieve debt.

If you want to see how rich you are in comparison to the rest of the world, go here. You'll need to convert your earnings to British Pounds which you can do here.

If you missed out on the Make Poverty History concert tickets, you can still go to the festival the following day. That's free! Details here.

And don't forget to keep supporting the breast cancer site here. You can also link to other sites from there to support those in need without it costing you a cent! Just a few seconds!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Oh Bobby!

This is Bobby Flynn. One of the most amazing musicians I've ever seen. Ignore the fact that it's a dodgy Australian Idol audition and concentrate on how incredible he is.

I'd really appreciate some honest feedback on my new songs too. Please let me know what you really think! Really! If you think they're completely unoriginal then please tell me. Check them out here


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