Thank You Jesus

What If?

If you’ve missed our latest magazine then make sure to check out the online version here. The theme this issue is “What If?” …based around a talk I did a while back and some ideas that have been circulating my head and the NG office over the last few months. As usual, it’s packed full of ideas, stories, tips and resource spotlights…and the graphics are pretty smooth too. The Team have done a really good job on pulling the content together, and I think that along with our other 2 issues so far this year, this magazine is amongst our best. To make sure you get a copy in your letter box next time around, log onto and register as a member, or even better, a Supporter, and we’ll post one out free of charge every time we release a new issue. No brainer!

A Good Day

Today’s a good day because…

  1. My 7-month old today son Leon almost cracked his face in half smiling when I walked through the door after work.
  2. I got news my visa should be ready in time for my 1st Russia trip in 3 years.
  3. iPad 2 came out. Not to mention it’s nifty new pal Smart Case. (Not trivial!)
  4. I got to talk for an hour with my brother down under.
  5. Flannel released the new Basic vid. (I know it’s pretty trivial, but it’s also pretty incredible.)
  6. I’ve lived in my charming house on The Avenue for 1 year.

…amongst other things of course…like having an amazing wife, a great job, and a nice collection of Paraguayan Yerba Mate cups.

Basic/What’s Up With Francis Chan?

Wherever I turn right now it seems Francis Chan is there.

The same Francis Chan that stepped down from the senior pastor role at his church Cornerstone some time back because he was tired of being “caught up in keeping the machine running” and didn’t recognise his church and his church members’ walk when reading about Jesus and his followers in Scripture.

Ironic that the guy who “walked away from it all” partly due to fear of his own affection for affirmation and popularity now seems even more popular than before. Also ironic that the guy who “walked off his own megachurch stage in search of something smaller and simpler” is not only getting interviews and press coverage left, right and centre, but also strutting his stuff on stage at Catalyst and being given a go at John Piper’s Desiring God gig a few weeks back. No wonder people can’t figure the guy out! No wonder he’s being labelled a little OTT, or in some cases, just downright crazy.

But then that’s the beauty of it…

Hearing Francis lay out his own thoughts and his agenda (or lack thereof) on the Neue podcast over the last couple of weeks fills me with a deep respect for the guy’s authenticity, honesty, and transparency. Sure, he doesn’t have it all nailed out…but then that’s his own point. He’s still figuring it out…and he’s not doing what he’s doing primarily to point the finger at “the establishment”, or because he’s discovered the key to a better way, but as a means of making space and stripping things back in hope of finding that way himself.

Sure, he’s a little nuts…but he’s an inspiration, and his actions, whilst somewhat “irresponsible and irrational” to some, are at the same time a huge thought-provoker for the institutionalised church, particularly in the pretty comfortable confines of the US.

So, whilst nobody really knows what’s up with Francis and where he’s going, one thing I’m grateful for is the film project he’s put together with the Flannel guys, of Nooma fame. Flannel and Fran have teamed up to make a 7-part series of 15 minute films called Basic, and the 2 videos released to date are both visually breathtaking and weighty in content.

The first three videos are on fearing God, following Jesus and rediscovering the Holy Spirit. The next four will be on the primary pillars of the early church as seen in Acts 2: teaching, prayer, communion and fellowship. Really looking forward to seeing the rest of the series as they’re released one by one, and highly recommend the two that are out to anyone looking for a good resource for use in small groups, youth meetings, services and the like. They’re pretty good for simply watching at home alone too for that matter…I’ve come away moved, inspired and challenged to strip it back to basics, starting with a renewed awareness of the need to truly Fear God.

Noah&Noelle Dot Com Goes Live

Today saw the much-anticipated launch of our good friends at Noah&Noelle’s snazzy new website. These guys have an eye for smooth design and are already producing some great babywear, and there’s more in the pipeline. They also have some good-looking models. Yes, that’s our Leon up top on his first modelling job…all from the comfort of his own home! Check out the site and buy a drool-catcher or two for your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews…you get the idea. Support these guys now and you’ll be seeing more great kids clothes coming down the line.


Now, I’ve been wearing Vans for a good 20 years or so and am still a big fan, but this guy has taken his brand loyalty to the next level with this heel tattoo. Had to laugh when I saw it on a Vans blog a couple of days ago.

Speaking of Vans, I took this shot of their inner sole at Selfridges a year or two ago. The fact that their previously skate-shop-only sneakers are now stocked in a shop like Selfridges is probably reason enough for the new addition, so skater snobs like me can feel like we’ve got our brand back. Ha!

My Latest Project

It’s been way too long since I had the paints and canvases out, and with a bit of down time at home over the last couple of weeks I’ve finally started on my series for our living room wall. It’s only half way and there’ll be a fourth piece to join the three pictured, as well as some layers of paint and pen over the top, but I thought I’d post a part one pic and see what people think. I’ll post close ups of each with more detail and taken on a real camera once I’m done, but you get the idea.


iPad + Velcro

The landlord sent this through the other day. Click the pic to watch the video on Vimeo.


NZ Billboard

Took this photo in New Zealand a few years ago, and still reckon it’s probably the best faith-related billboard I’ve seen. Especially like the fact that someone’s spent the money and still opted out of putting a logo on there. Nice.

1st Modelling Job

Our little pin-up boy got to do his first proper photo shoot today in the comfort of our very own home. Our friends Hanna and Mieke’s company Noah&Noelle were putting together some pics for their new site (info coming soon) where you can buy scarves, hats and the like, and Leon got to join in on the action. Photographer Rebecca Hanson sent this pic through this afternoon and I just had to post it, proud dad that I am. Stuck in Sweden, I haven’t seen this little guy for 11 days now, so this made my day.