Sermon: Ephesians 6:10-20 Power in Prayer

A new sermon preached at our church on a series on prayer.

“Ephesians 6:10-20 Power in Prayer”

The audio quality is not great. I hope to get an mp3 player/recorder soon so I would like to post more sermons.

I would appreciate feedback and thoughts. I have some way to go both in terms of clarity and courage.

(Credits: There are a few Stott phrases and quotes from his BST commentary and some influence from a John Piper sermon on the same text)

Preaching With Clarity and Courage

John Stott on Ephesians 6:
“Clarity and courage remain two of the most crucial characteristics of authentic Christian preaching. For they relate to the content of the message preached and to the style of its presentation. Some preachers have the gift of lucid teaching, but their semrons lack solid content; their substance has become diluted by fear. Others are bold as lions. They fear nobody, and omit nothing. But what they say is confused and confusing. Clarity without courage is like sunshine in the desert: plenty of light but nothing worth looking at. Courage without clarity is like a beautiful landscape at night time: plenty to see, but no light by which to enjoy it. What is needed in the pulpits in the world today is a combination of clarity and courage, or of ‘utterance’ and ‘boldness’. Paul asked the Ephesians to pray that these might be give to him, for he recognized them as gifts of God. We should join them in prayer for the pastors and preachers of the contemporary church”.
Stott, “The Message of Ephesians”, Bible Speaks Today Series, p286.

Heavenly Father, help preachers today to proclaim the infinite worth of Jesus Christ with great clarity and fearless courage. To your glory and for our joy, Amen.

Strength for perseverance

I was encouraged by the observations and insights of John Piper in “The Roots of Endurance”:
“One of the pervasive marks of our times is emotional fragility. It hangs in the air we breath. We are easily hurt. We pout and mope easily. We blame easily. We break easily. Our marriages break easily. Our faith breaks easily. Our happiness breaks easily. And our commitment to the church breaks easily. We are easily disheartened, and it seems we have little capacity for surviving and thriving in the face of criticism and opposition… we are surrounded by, and are part of, a society of emotionally fragile quitters.” (p79-80).

These hard words ring true of my experience of Australian culture, including Christians. In one way, I am glad it is not just me. Only by comparing ourselves with Christians from other ages can we see this spotlight on ourselves.

John Piper’s suggestion is to watch people closely who are good at persevering in gospel commitment through emotional turmoil. That is why he wrote his book surveying the lives of Newton, Simeon and Wilberforce. I think this is good, and part of the answer.

And People Claim Linux is Confusing

Because the whole GNU/Linux operating system is not tied to any vendor – there is an often claimed fallacy that the multiplicity of linux vendors is confusing, divisive and a hindrance to progress.

Clearly in over a decade of linux this is not the case at all. Everyone seems to work together well, and the development of linux is scaling well.

I just found this awesome diagram of all the different versions of Microsoft Windows. If you thought Linux distributions were confusing, take a look at this!

udev kernels (such as fedora core 3) don’t support firewire (1394) easily

Oh the confusion.

I had my video camera talking to linux years ago. But it seems new “udev” kernel feature doesn’t automagically support firewire, well not under fedora core 3 anyway. (it looks like mandrake does)

The trick is you have to create the device nodes manually, every time your system boots!

Add the following lines to /etc/rc.local:

# create the 1394 devices
mknod /dev/raw1394 c 171 0
chmod a+rw /dev/raw1394
mkdir /dev/video1394
mknod /dev/video1394/0 c 171 16
mknod /dev/video1394/1 c 171 17
mknod /dev/video1394/2 c 171 18
mknod /dev/video1394/3 c 171 19
chmod a+rw /dev/video1394/0
chmod a+rw /dev/video1394/1
chmod a+rw /dev/video1394/2
chmod a+rw /dev/video1394/3

# install the modules
modprobe raw1394
modprobe video1394


The modprobe lines probably aren’t needed.

This is a known linux kernel bug. That bug report suggests that you can do all of the above just by: “MAKEDEV video1394 raw1394”. Since when did linux commands come with all caps? Both workarounds are incomprehensible to me!

Feature regressions are painful.

But at least I can now run kino (a linux video editor) and dvgrab again.

Reflections on Peter Bolt “The Cross from a Distance” and RT France “Divine Government”

I love the gospel of Mark. Stop what you are doing and go read it right now – you can easily read it in one sitting.

These are two great books that I have read recently that offer a way of understanding Mark’s gospel. They are two quite different approaches so I thought it would be interesting to compare them.

RT France’s “Divine Government: God’s Kingship in the Gospel of Mark” (I’ll call it “DG”) was published in 1980 by Lancer. Peter Bolt’s “The Cross From a Distance: Atonement in Mark’s Gospel” (“TCFaD”) was published recently in 2004. Both books were based on special lecture series at Moore Theological College in Syndey.

Continue reading “Reflections on Peter Bolt “The Cross from a Distance” and RT France “Divine Government””

Melbourne Uni Christian Union Commencement Camp 2005

We had a ball this past weekend going to the Melb Uni CU Commencement Camp. I really enjoyed giving talks on “True Greatness and True Glory” from Mark’s gospel.

We had a great time catching up with CU’ers old and new, and hearing about how the gospel is being proclaimed on campus.

The kids had fun playing with Lucy, Chloe and Samuel as well as the other big “kids”. 🙂

Thanks Glen and all the CU staff and leaders for your great work you did on the weekend and continue to do at Melbourne Uni. We were certainly refreshed and encouraged by spending the weekend with you all.

Ethan Zohn and Jenna Morasca at Luna Park Melbourne

Some of our friends might find this silly… We don’t watch much TV, but Helen and I are BIG fans of the TV show Survivor.

Helen and I enjoyed a great evening meeting Ethan Zohn (winner of Survivor Africa) and Jenna Morasca (winner of Survivor Amazon) recently at a fundraising event at Luna Park (go

The event itself was poorly attended, I only found out by reading forums accidentally. It was great of the organisers to still hold the event – well done Australia Koala Foundation.

It was great to be able to ask questions about different people from survivor, Hatch’s tax evasion, Rob Cesternino and such. We also enjoyed some rides, and got our survivor DVD’s signed which is nice.

Ethan and Jenna both were very friendly – obviously still love survivor and love talking about it. Good value.

Yes we will be watching Survivor Palau – it is great to see an Australian network getting the rights to air a show less than a week behind the USA.

Review of the Zensonic Z330 DVD/MP4/DIVX Player

zen330 player
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The Zensonic Z330 is a very
cheap and popular DVD player. These next generation DVD players are
getting alot of attention because they can play MP4/DIVX/Xvid files.
These new formats are being used to play decent quality compressed
video often downloaded from the internet.

I first heard about this player on the excellent
href=””>forums. Whirlpool is an
excellent source of information (and misinformation!). I bought the
product for a very good price from
href=””> There is a
good vibe with a product if when you are examining it in the shop
someone else walks in off the street and quickly asks to buy two off
the shelf! I asked this other person why he was so confident, he said
that his friend had one and he was impressed with it.
Continue reading “Review of the Zensonic Z330 DVD/MP4/DIVX Player”

How Bittorrent Works

Bittorrent is an amazing way of distributing files. It is the next generation of p2p (peer to peer networks). p2p networks are infamous for spreading illegal content, but they are actually essential for distributing large data files. eg: downloading new linux distributions, big software updates, non copyrighted music and movies etc.

Continue reading “How Bittorrent Works”

2.6.x linux kernels problematic with some cd burners

When I upgraded to Fedora Core 3 my cd burner stopped working. I get a strange kind of error as follows:

Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: status error: status=0x58 { DriveReady SeekComplete DataRequest }
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: status error: error=0x00
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: drive not ready for command
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: status timeout: status=0xd0 { Busy }
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: status timeout: error=0xd0LastFailedSense 0x0d
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: DMA disabled
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: drive not ready for command
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: ATAPI reset complete
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: request sense failure: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: request sense failure: error=0x50LastFailedSense 0x05
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: request sense failure: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }
Dec 29 12:42:39 localhost kernel: hdd: request sense failure: error=0x50LastFailedSense 0x05

Continue reading “2.6.x linux kernels problematic with some cd burners”

Making bittorrent work on linux

I have been experimenting with BitTorrent clients. I am writing up an article explaining this excellent technology..

But just a quick note for those Linux users pulling their hair out wondering how to open up incoming ports to allow the faster BitTorrent speeds. Most web sites advise this is a port forwarding problem with your broadband router, and you need to open up a virtual server to allow this. But if your linux distribution (eg: “Fedore Core 3”) has setup a “linux firewall” you will also need to configure that to allow incoming connections.

Continue reading “Making bittorrent work on linux”

Book Review of “John Stott; The Making of A Leader” and “John Stott: A Global Ministry” by Timothy Dudley Smith

Thanks to a gift from a friend I was able to get my hands on these two great volumes documenting the life and ministry of John Stott. These two books are the result of many years work of Timothy Dudley-Smith. In my mind he has struck a real chord with these books in opening up both the person and ministry of Stott so a new generation of Christian leaders might be able to learn from his example and experience. He has had full access to John Stott’s diaries, and drawn on interviews of both Stott and hundreds of people who have been influenced by him. These books are highly recommended.

Continue reading “Book Review of “John Stott; The Making of A Leader” and “John Stott: A Global Ministry” by Timothy Dudley Smith”

Review of Fedora Core 3 Linux

This is a review of the free linux distribution “Fedora Core 3”. It is an alternative operating system for pc computers.

A creature of habit, although my first linux distribution was Debian, I quickly found Red Hat 5.1. I have followed Redhat through pretty much every release. As soon as fc3 was released I ordered some CD-R’s from If you didn’t know, Fedora is the new name for the free Redhat desktop OS. My computer is a 6 year old Celeron 450MHz, with 328MB of Ram.

Continue reading “Review of Fedora Core 3 Linux”

Book review of “Beyond Greed” by Brian Rosner

Greed is a (the?) great Australian religion, though most people would not admit it. This is a great book to challenge us to think hard about whether we are worshipping the Lord Jesus Christ or whether greed is our true god. This is the second best book I have read on this topic.

Continue reading “Book review of “Beyond Greed” by Brian Rosner”

She Who Has A Name

We have named our new daughter Lydia Rachel Schuller. She is named after the Lydia in the early Christian church. Read the story in Acts 16:11-15. Rachel is named after the wife of Jacob in the Old Testament. In a nutshell: God’s people began with Abraham (2000BC). Abe’s son was Isaac, Isaac’s son was Jacob. From Jacob came the 12 tribes of Israel. Read the story in Genesis 29 and onwards.

(We weren’t originally going to go with another Bible name. In fact at one point we worked our way through the names of the women in the first round of the US Tennis Open. So she nearly ended up with a Russian name!)

5 minutes old:

After 48 hours:

Jemima and Lydia:

Josiah will make a good father one day:

Jemima is enjoying lots of cuddles:

A New Baby Girl

We are thankful to God to announce that Helen gave birth to a baby girl at 6:40am this morning (10th September 2004).

What a long night! Helen worked extremely hard and is recovering well. Praise God for his gift of new life, and for another image bearer to bring glory to him. We’re extremely grateful for the quality of hospitals and public maternal care in Australia.

The baby was 3.94 kilograms, 52 cm long and she is fairly sleepy (as expected).

We haven’t given her a name yet. Submissions are welcome, but the parents decision is final! 🙂

This is almost a smile:

What a relief for Helen after such a long wait:

I was very tired also:

She needs a name (we are not sure who Dave is):

A New Camera

After many years of waiting we finally went out and bought a digital camera. It is a Sony DSC-W1. I nearly bought the DSC-P100, but the W1 has a larger screen and uses non-proprietary batteries.

It worked in linux out of the box: under Fedora Core 2, I just plugged it in and ran “gphoto2 –get-all-files” (thank you gphoto!) from the command line. The graphical tool (gtkam) crashes quite alot though. I’m getting better at using The Gimp to rescale/rotate/crop images. I’m going to need a bigger computer to store all the photos.

It’s a nice camera, there is still some delay when taking the shot. I was hoping the image processor on the new Sony range would remove this, but it seems like only the SLR digitals can do this. We just have to become accustomed to it. It is heaps of fun being able to see the pictures immediately, rather than waiting weeks. You can plug the camera into the TV, which is a really good way to review photos, but also a good way to experiment with different settings.

I bought it from one of the Elizabeth St stores in the city. The amount of conflicting and naive advice I received was amazing. The cheapest place to buy new a camera in Australia seem to be web sites like:, (or ebay for the brave). These web sites run at very low margins (I doubt they even have stock – they just order whatever you order), so you get a good feel for what the cost price is. Mentioning these web sites (and their prices!) in an Elizabeth St store is a good way to get the price dropped. In the end I actually asked the guy in the store where could I find an internet cafe so I could go and do some research – I went away and came back later and was able to be more informed and had some prices to bargain against. This is a great way the internet has changed shopping habits – we no longer trust the advice of people in stores (did we ever?), and we don’t need to, because we can go on the internet to check facts. Typing the model name of a camera into google is a good place to start – although there are many camera “review” sites that simply rehash the contents of the manual. In the end I was happy to buy from the store which I received good advice, and I was keen to walk away with the camera. Besides the luxury of holding the physical camera, I see no reason why in the future I would not do all my research and purchases on the net.

Helen is very pregnant and we are prayerfully and eagerly awaiting the new baby (really the main reason for getting the camera):

Josiah is ever cute:

A bridge in North Melbourne: