How does milk in your face make you think about Christmas?

In a few days time the once a year celebration of Christmas will take place.

As I got Matilda up this morning from her cot I walked through the door and was hit by the wall of stink coming from her nappy. I swear it was the biggest poo I’ve seen from her. Ollie was with me and he said, “Matilda that’s smelly poo!”

Minutes later after all was clean I fed Matilda and as she was spitting milk at me it drew my attention to the little baby Jesus who entered the world 2000 years ago.  I thought what similarities are there with Matilda than with the baby Jesus we celebrate at Christmas.

Jesus’ mother, Mary would’ve encountered plenty of stinky nappies and milk being spat in her face. There is something pretty real about what happened on that first Christmas.

I remember back to when Lisa was in labor with Matilda and we raced to Adelaide in the middle of the night to greet Matilda some 10 hours later. Not sure if the donkey carrying Mary was racing to Bethlehem but Joseph I’m sure would’ve been tired from the walk as well. A stable to them would’ve been like 5 star accommodation after a long trip like that.

But when they met that baby for the first time the feelings of tiredness and exhaustion would’ve been replaced with a high hit of adrenalin. Finding the time to sit and cherish this perfect little gift would be few and far between with visitors rocking up in the form of shepherds.

As we continue to teach Matilda and Ollie about life and the truths and promises their Heavenly Dad has for them, I’m sure it was no different for the parents of Jesus. Our role as parents is to nurture, love and lead them. jesus light of christmas

Many years before Jesus was born there were people saying that God will enter our world and He will be our rescuer of all the dark stuff we encounter in our lives. He will show us light and love. We were told that He’ll be the best role model to follow because He’ll walk in our world. I believe this person is Jesus.

So whether you believe in this Jesus bloke or not, I can categorically say from my own experiences that He is as real as the hair on my head. He has given my life light which I didn’t see before.

I challenge you in the lead up to fine food and drinks this Christmas day to just ask the Big Fella if this is real? Ask Him if this baby Jesus we celebrate on Christmas is for real? And if He is, show me in my own understanding?

My understanding says He is for real because I see Jesus’ reflection in my baby Matilda. Simple but that’s how I know in my heart.

I’d love for you to share in the comments below where you see Jesus or where you’d like to see Him this Christmas.

May you have a fantastic Christmas and please stay safe. You’re worth it!

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An Unexplainable Tragedy.

We have all heard of the horrific shooting tragedy that struck a school in Newtown, USA in the past week. Our human nature allows us to question why this has happened. We want answers but know that our focus and our hearts have to be with the victims families and the wider Newtown community. People even ask, if there is a God then where was He in all of this? How could he allow this to happen?

These questions are all valid but when you step back there is a big picture of the world we live in. In this world there is good and evil. These unexplainable tragedies will continue to happen. Bad things will happen as great and exciting things will continue to happen.

You know, I choose to see the good in all. Instead of looking from the bottom of the mountain, go to the top and see the whole view. It’s so much better and more to see.

Yesterday I saw a clip come across my Facebook page which I had to share with you all. A news announcer gives his answer to the question of ‘where was God in this?’ Check it out HERE.

My heartfelt prayers and thoughts go out to all the victims families and the community of Newtown. I pray the peace of God will fill their hearts in this time of grief. I pray for the nation of America that in the gloom and darkness of this, that it’s heart will return to the foundation and rock which is King Jesus!


Book review: ‘Every Bloke’s a Champion – Even You.’

If you’re a bloke looking for some encouragement instead of being ‘kicked in the guts’ then pick up “Every Bloke’s a Champion – Even You.”every blokes a champion book

Author of ‘Every Bloke’s a Champion – Even You’,  Ian ‘Watto’ Watson is also the founder of men’s Shed Happens nights across Australia. He travels far and wide encouraging men to be who they were created to be. He also owns his truck driving training centre and is a mad Carlton Blues fan. (We won’t hold that against him.) You can follow him at wattobooks.com and on twitter.

My review:

When you pick up and read this book it’ll be as though Ian Watson is in front of you at a half time footy huddle firing up the charges for a final big effort.

Ian writes in a way that connects to the ordinary Aussie bloke. He ‘hits the nail on the head’ with a lot of stuff that hold us blokes back.

We all take words from people differently but to hear words of encouragement more so than words that pull you down is refreshing and uplifting. He’ll help you conquer feelings of hatred, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness. All this stop us from being who the Big Fella wants us to be.

Our hearts are what makes us come alive so to read how to tap into that big ticker is exciting.

Watto sheds the stuff of how he has worked through things in his life.  Being encouraged to be the champion bloke is what you’ll get in this shortish, large printed book.

Here’s a snippet of the first chapter just to wet your whistle. You can read the whole first chapter here.

Turbocharged words that launch champions

One day, 2 of my truckie mates happened to be having haircuts at my ‘barber shop’ which was under our house in the laundry. Big Jonesy was one of them, and I thought the world of him. He was 10 years older and wiser than I was, and his words meant plenty to me.

I told these 2 mates that I was planning to leave the security of my office job and buy a truck. They both burst out laughing. Jonesy said, ‘Watto, you’re a bloody idiot. Leave that bludgy job?’ They were just teasing me, the way blokes do. I tried not to show it but my pride and ego were smashed.

It didn’t stay that way, though. Jonesy must have somehow seen that this was important to me. His face changed and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘Watto, you’ll never look back.’ His words came from the bottom of his big heart and I felt it smack bang in the middle of my heart. Jonesy had affirmed me. His words meant: ‘You’re OK, and you’ll be good at it!’ It was a turbocharged word just for me.

When someone you love, admire and respect empowers you, you are ready to launch to the moon. It can put a whole new life and purpose into you.

This book has fired me up to live a better life. If you need some words that pick you up then don’t hesitate and grab this book.

It’s designed to be read whenever you feel. There is no pressure to read it in one hit. There are so many one liners that will help you get through each day.

You could even do what I did and leave it behind the dunny door and have a flick through when you feel the need!

On that note, I highly recommend ‘Every Bloke’s a Champion – Even You.’

And to finish up here is a short word from Ian Watson himself.

G’day Champion son or daughter of the King,

In Melbourne two months ago I experienced two great moments – I picked up the first copy of my book and saw the Swans win the Grand Final.

What an amazing journey of many months of ripping into the book with my wife Margaret typing over, over and over and working with my editor Belinda Pollard in taking it to the finishing line.

Thanks so much for all the prayers that have kept this ‘bird’ soaring high up with the eagles.

It sure is mighty humbling to speak with so many men and women, young and old, about different parts of the book that have encouraged them on their own journeys.

Then there’s amazement at being able to speak about different chapters over the radio stations and to meet up with people who happened to be listening, including a bloke I haven’t had contact with for 47 years since National Service training. I also received a text message from a shed man fishing off Sarina and another working in Perth.

All thanks and honour to our mighty Creator of the Universe for the privilege of writing a book into the hearts of my fellow brothers and sisters as we all take the journey of life together.

May my book be an encouragement to all those who it meets along the highways and in the sheds, and may it help ‘shed’ the stuff that gets in the way of the champion life.

If you are considering a copy for a Christmas gift, here’s how to get one: –

  • the Murrumba Downs Truck Yard Office, 19 Blyth Road
  • from the back of my X-Trail
  • an autographed copy posted to you anywhere in Australia, $20 plus $5 handling

Bookstores

  • Koorong
  • Dymocks – Chermside & Indooroopilly

Online

Bless ya heaps. Love ya guts.

Watto

I’ve never seen a bloke go backwards with encouragement.

Keep in touch with wattobooks.com


Selahphonic video clip released today

Earlier this week I wrote about the interests you have. I think music is an interest that most people have. Whether it be rock, pop, classical or gospel. There are many genres of music out there to connect with each of us.

Today, a band I love listening to has released there first video clip for their single Hollywood Kids. Selahphonic has a great edge to their music with lyrics that connect hope to a generation. Check out the video clip below.

You can buy this single on itunes today. This is their twitter and facebook page. Share it around and let the world in on the new sound of Selahphonic.


What interests you?

What hobbies or special interests do you have? After being involved in Shed Happens over the past 3 years we have often spoken about what interests we all have. Not only hobbies but things you take a special interest in.

The first time I was asked this question I thought well my interests are cricket and footy. If you grow up in the Aussie country these are two sports which are played by most people. In my early years it was off to footy in the winter and cricket in the summer. Everyone played footy but during summer there were a few options of tennis, basketball and cricket.

Cricket trumped the others because we grew up watching the old man stand at first slip and open the batting in the A4 grade. I won’t go into too many of his career stats other than he always reminds us of his 100 he made in a grand final! Your Dad can have a huge influence on your upbringing both negatively and positively.

I’d have to say it was positive in this sense with all us boys going onto love and play this great sport. As kids we always had the afternoon sleep then off to watch Dad at the cricket later on. This was great for community. There were plenty of other families there as well so we as kids all grew up together.

As time has passed and I’ve grown older this question of my special interests got me thinking that there has got to be more out there that I haven’t tried yet.

do something differentNot long after being asked this I started trying a few different things. One lazy Sunday afternoon I grabbed the many cook books Lisa had in the cupboard and decided to cook something a bit fancier than a McCain’s pizza in the oven. I cooked some Cider glazed pork cutlets and a Creme Brulee for dessert. I got the thumbs up from Lisa, so as she’s a great cook I must have done alright. This has now become one of my special interests.

Another interest I’ve taken up is reading books. I remember it wasn’t that long ago I used to lie in bed staring at the ceiling while Lisa was reading her books. It used to annoy the heck out of me because we were both there not talking but she was enjoying what she was doing.

I think this reading book thing came about a lot more after the 2010 Better Blokes conference. Being brought up with a Christian faith was fine as long as I didn’t have to read the Bible. I found it that boring and irrelevant to my day-to-day life. But hearing a speaker at this conference just encourage you to pick it up and read it like a book changed my thought process.

I believed in the stuff coming from the Good Book but never read it myself. Which may sound contradictory but I just let the pastor at church read it out to me each Sunday. I never actively did it myself.

Well after this conference I thought I’d give it a go. The first morning back I picked it up and started reading it. I think this freaked Lisa out and I was very fearful of her reaction to this because it was never done in our house before. Three years later it has become normal and I still get many gems and promises from the God I believe in. I would have to say that the Chapters of Proverbs was a great place to start for me because it was so relevant to my day to day living.

This was really the start of reading for me. I reckon my old english teachers at school would freak out if they knew this had become an interest of mine. I started picking up more and more books that were to help me grow as a person. I think a lot about life and how we live. Some would say I think about things too much but they are the cards I’ve been dealt so I’ll continue to be who I am. This interest of reading is continuing because I love learning more and more from the minds and hearts of different authors.

Writing has also become something I’ve enjoyed doing. It’s helped me get stuff out my mind and onto the screen or paper.

I’ve found that as I write there is another little part that I’ve learnt about myself. Another side to the once one-dimensional cricket and footy bloke.

As this blog continues to evolve I will from time to time give book reviews of the stuff I’m reading. I might even let you in on a few fancy dishes I’m having a crack at. I won’t tell you of the stuff ups though. But then again I will because we have to tell the stuff ups as well because it’s the only way we learn.

Anyway there are many more new interests I’m taking up but that will be for another post. Leave a comment to what your special interests or hobbies are? Doesn’t matter what they are as long as you enjoy it. It could be one I may have a crack at.

If you want to follow me on Twitter then click here because the ‘tweet-tweet’ is becoming a little side interest!


What’s been happening?

I’m sure you’ve all asked this question before. What’s been happening?

Well for me I’m finally back online! After 6 weeks in the cyberspace wilderness I’m back into my hobby of writing blogs. There has been a lot going on in the last 6 weeks but now things seem to be getting back on track. I looked at my last blog post and it was titled ‘What makes a home? I wrote that on the 15th October.’ It got me thinking a lot of ‘water has passed under the bridge’ since that post. I’ll just give you a quick run down of the happenings of Luke in the last weeks.

The night before we moved house from Moonta Bay our battery on our laptop ‘kicked the bucket’! This didn’t bother me so much because we were busy enough with moving, that I didn’t have time to write anything. We ordered a battery online and after 2 weeks waiting for it we guessed we were ‘taken for a ride’ with this online company! Luckily for us PayPal has retrieved our money for us. After this we finally ordered one from Adelaide that was here within a few days. Then we had to sort out our internet. We had a champion bloke come and sort this out for us whose service was top-notch. He knew his stuff and his customer service was fantastic. Anything internet related, speak to Roosy at the Telstra shop in Kadina.

Ollie got to spend some time with me in the truck.

As I write this I’m enjoying a beer after finishing harvest for 2012 yesterday. This started late October and we’ve been blessed with awesome weather so we can reap with no major hold ups. I must say we are truly thankful to God with the season we’ve had. He has certainly provided for us in a big way. During this busy period I must thank my wife. There are many hours where I was not around. Getting home when kids are bathed, fed and in bed are a testament for the great job Lisa has done. Love you honey.  Spending Sundays with the family were special. When I don’t see the special people in my life for extended periods, my heart yearns for just some time with them.

The other major thing to happen was moving into our new home. The day we moved was a bit like a whirlwind. There was all hands on deck to get this done in a day. We had family and friends chip and help where needed. We’ve now settled in and we’re enjoying farm life again. Ollie loves riding around the verandah on his bike (until a few days ago, but that’s another story) and collecting eggs from the chooks each day. The flies are fantastic as well. I had to tell Ollie that ‘Flies are your friend and that’s why they’re on your face!’ It worked for a few days!

So that’s about it. Hopefully now I can get back into a bit more writing again. Stay tuned to my blog as there is some great stuff coming up. Feel free to sign up and get these direct to your email inbox. Just click at the top right under Follow Blog via Email. Also let me know what you’ve been up to recently. As I’ve experienced a lot can happen in only 6 weeks!

If you’re interested this is my twitter and Facebook where we can keep in touch as well.

Oh and for you cricket fans, here’s some news hot off the press. Australia’s greatest run scorer has retired. Ricky Ponting will retire after the 3rd Test against South Africa at the WACA. He has been a champion player so let’s get a win for him. C’mon Aussies!


What makes a home?

A question I’ve been asking myself recently is what makes a home?  A week from now we will of left our home as we knew it, to start a new one on a farm property.

Photo courtesy of happynews.comWe have known for a while now we will be moving house but as the days near to the big move the feelings of sadness, grief or even loss come to mind and are in our hearts. We know this is where God is leading us but the plan is yet to be revealed.

Earlier this year I took a farmhand job on a friends farm due to work being quiet in the building industry. From the day I took the job, myself and Lisa knew a move was on the cards. Driving a half hour to and from work each day gets tiring.

We have started to pack boxes and remove photos from the walls and fridge. The first house we’ve known as a family, starts to look quite bare and cold. We have spoken about what we’ll miss from the area and they are the creature comforts we have become accustomed to. DVD shops, foodland 5 minutes away, the beach is a 5 minute walk and the pizza and take away shops are just around the corner.

These are all things which can be replaced by new experiences living on a farm property. The farm will give great space for the kids to learn and grow and will be where I do most of my work.

When we start to peel back the layers of moving house, the one thing (apart from all the material stuff) we can take with us are the memories. Building our first home together was huge and then to move into it just after being married was special. Setting the house up as our own and bringing Ollie and Matilda home for the first time were moments we’ll always cherish. Seeing the place change over the years in the garden from old photos is unreal. When we stopped and thought about all the time we spent out there turning it from dirt to a garden was amazing. From building pergolas, sheds, laying pavers and lawn, planting shrubs and fruit trees. All this was revealing who we are as a family.

The memories that brings tears to our eyes is when people were involved. Friends and family came over for birthdays, baptisms, christmas lunches and someone would always just drop in for a coffee or quiet beer. But then I think about the endless races we had with Ollie up and down the driveway on scooters and playing hide and seek. We’ll always remember these times and where they happened at stocker street Moonta Bay.

So next week we’ll be busy setting up our new home to make it something that is about our family. A house is just mere bricks, mortar and bare and naked walls. But when you start to reveal your heart in the place, that is when it really becomes a home.

As I reflect, the question still stands. What makes a home? What is home?

You’ve all heard the saying, “Home is where the heart is.”

It’s only as I’ve written this post has it made sense. I believe that no matter where I go or what house I live in, I’ll always be home. As long as I have my relationship with God, my beautiful and loving wife and 2 happy and smiling kids I’ll always be home.

These people are what brings me home. These people are in the centre of my heart. They are home to me.

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This clip by Switchfoot describes everything that home is. Have a listen.