Sunday Roast – Aerobie

8 03 2009

Last night, we had Matt and Thea over for some Thai takeaway and a catch up. Good times.

Matt also brought over his new toy – an Aerobie  Aeropress.

Has anyone tried one of these before? Interesting concept. The air pressure from the rubber sealed plunger is supposed to push the water through the coffee evenly and at a consistent pressure. It uses filter paper, so you can grind the beans espresso-fine. It gives a more intense flavour than a plunger coffee, probably because of the pressured “extraction” but not as intense as an espresso. Although on our last double shot we managed to get a bubbly sort of crema on top.

Had it with some steamed milk in a latte – also not bad. But thats where you can really tell that it lacks the punch of an espresso.

I reckon it would be ideal long black for some types of bean. Easy to use, easy to clean and a bit of good fun.

Thanks for a lovely evening Turners!

Thursday Thought – Part-time Ministry

5 03 2009

This Thursday, I’m sharing some of my own thoughts and looking for some of yours.

I’m thinking about the concept of “Part-time Ministry”. That is, being trained in and involved in pastoral ministry for a few days a week whilst supporting yourself financially with secular work on the other days.

On the one hand, this seems like a great idea. Many ministry minded lay people already spend a large chunk of their free time in ministry work. Going part time would only increase this opportunity. Also, being self supporting would mean these ministers would not be a burden on a church and would have an extra level of flexibility relative to someone employed by the church. It would mean that they could maintain relationships with people who don’t know Jesus in the work-force and have excellent opportunities to tell people the gospel within their paid work.

It also could provide a perfect entry point to someone who is contemplating committing their lives to full-time ministry, but who doesn’t feel entirely ready to take the plunge and cut all ties with their work.

On the other hand, why bother? Living in Sydney we have a great opportunity for ministers to be fully employed in ministry whilst still earning a good wage. If ministry is so important then really, shouldn’t you be devoting ALL your time to it? And anyone who has tried to balance multiple part-time activities would tell you that it’s incredibly difficult to leave one behind when you try to work on the other. There are people here at my work who only work 3 days a week, only get paid for 3 days a week, but are sometimes in here for 5!

Maybe this whole part-time thing is just an excuse to try and keep a foot in both camps? Perhaps it just shows a lack of courage to commit yourself to full-time ministry? (Don’t necessarily believe that – just arguing it!) Having a part-time person on a ministry team could be a worry. How do you know they are not going to ring up tomorrow and say “can’t come in – somethings come up at my ‘real’ job”? Will they really be committed if it’s not their whole life aim to build up a church?

On balance, there may be room in Sydney for just this sort of ministry opportunity. Maybe even as a short term thing before eventually committing to full-time work or ministry. I think it has some potential. But the feeling that I get is that it’s not encouraged. Am I right? Is this seen as a bad idea? Is it more than just the things I’ve listed above?

What do you think? Is this a wonderful opportunity that could greatly expand the harvest? Or is it a selfish attempt for someone to have the best of both worlds? Or something else?

Caught in the ACT

4 03 2009

I spent a day yesterday in our nation’s capital attending a health financing course.

The course was good, if you’re into sitting in a room all day with actuaries and public servants talking about government health policy.

There’s not much doing in Canberra. However, I did manage to sneak out during the lunch break to check out the National Gallery. Didn’t see any of the Degas exhibit, but I did see some Picasso, some Pollock and some Monet. The sculpture garden is also a cracker.

Beer News

4 03 2009

Outstanding, fantastic, sensational, uber-exciting news on the beer front!

The Local Taphouse, an awesome bar in Melbourne, with an extensive beer menu, that I have praised before has just started operating in Sydney!

It’s in Darlinghurst and a friend of mine who visited last night gave it a 9/10 for overall experience. A great range on tap that is expensive without being ridiculous and good quality pub food at a reasonable price.

More info here and here at le blog once I have been myself!

Sunday Roast – The Little Marionette

1 03 2009

Today I should be roasting up a storm with the boys. But unfortunately I am stuck at home with the aforementioned assignment 😦

I did however manage to sneak out this morning before church to Balmain to pick up some breakkie at The Little Marionette. If you haven’t been before – you should go.

It’s a tiny cafe carved out of the wall opposite Gladstone Park and next to Balmain hospital. It makes the most of the park by offering free rugs to sit on. We don’t usually stick around though, just pick up and go. There is almost always a line out the front.

The espresso is well made and I think they have their own bean – not too sure about that one. The owner is friendly and keen for a chat and this morning he was sporting one of the most impressive moustaches I have ever seen.

The highlight for us though, is the banana bread with passionfruit butter! Whoever thought of bringing butter and passionfruit together = Genius! It was a little pricey this morning at 1 slice for $5, but I was happy to part with my hard earned for it.

Check it out if you get a chance.


1 03 2009

It was suggested that I do a weekly haiku. I dunno if I can commit to weekly and I don’t think I could produce much in the way of traditional haiku.

So I propose H.A.I.K.U. Harnessing Actuarial Insight Knowledge and Understanding.

Certainly not intended to be a weekly post, but it will get some things off my actuarial chest occasionally.

Today I am immersed in an assignment for my final actuarial subject, Commercial Actuarial Practice. I have been given an “Environment” case study where a theoretical paper manufacturer has decided to develop a timber plantation. My job is to advise them of the financial impacts of climate change on this plantation.

It’s really interesting reading up on climate change and Emissions Trading Schemes and modelling growth of trees and things like that… but it’s due in about 28 hours… I have 4000 words to write… and I’m over it!

The whole idea of this course is teaching actuaries to be better communicators. So I am getting stuck into the report now, even though I haven’t finished all the techy stuff, because I don’t think I will be a very good communicator at 1am in the morning!