Monday, November 1, 2010

study and exams

Well,'s time...some of you are headlong into final study and exams!

UniSA has a whole section on study and exams here:

Elsewhere on the 'net there are all sorts of areas of advice good, bad and ugly. One place I thought worth sharing are a few short videos here that give advice on study and exams. Don't look at them all otherwise you won't do your UniSA study! However, have a scroll through the videos on your right hand side and pick any that you feel you would like to know more about. It's English so there is a bit of an accent but you'll get it:

Ofqual's YouTube Channel

Here's an example about "Cramming":

Monday, October 25, 2010

last stand

Charles Haddon from "Ou Est Le Swimming Pool" took his own life in August 2010. I don't know what else was going on in his life but the news stories tell us that the 'trigger' was when he accidently seriously hurt a fan in a stage dive....

...this week I was 'giving an ear' to a friend who was dealing with someone she cared for who attempted suicide...let me tell you this as clearly as I can: do -not-attempt- to kill-yourself...there is always a way out of your problems no matter how messy and bad they are, it may take time and it may take work but there will be a way out. If you need immediate and information about suicide prevention can contact

Lifeline on 13 11 14

SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263)

"Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, suffering, and hard times, or hunger and nakedness, or danger and death? ...I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love--not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below. Nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord! " (Romans 8)

"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me" (Psalm 23)

So hang in there, be patient, get help - there is light on the other side of the tunnel

You won't know if you are not here. Our thoughts go out to Charlies family, friends and fans.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mary Mackillop

Australia has it's first 'Saint' and I think it's a great thing because Mary Mackillop is such a great example of a Christian lady who showed incredible bravery, compassion and dedication. Virtues that are a possibly little thin at the moment in many quarters of our land. I think she deserves out due respect.
If you want to know more about her great life read here:
Without raining on her truly justified parade - I just want to point out a few things that to me are not based in the New Testament about this 'Saint' stuff...
*We can pray directly to God and don't need to pray through 'Saints' (it's all through the New Testament - but read Hebrews 10 for starters) In fact it's probably NOT a good idea to pray through a Saint, when Jesus has already opened the door for you to God.
* ALL Christians are declared 'Saints' in the New Testament - often the letters to the churches (in the Bible) open with 'to the saints' (eg When Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus he started out "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints in Ephesus, the faithfulin Christ Jesus...")
Having clarified that - Mary Mackillop, though human - is a great example to follow in many ways.
Martin Luther said this about 'Church declared Saints', that they can be honored in three ways:
1.By thanking God for examples of His mercy
2. By using the saints as examples for strengthening our faith
3. By imitating their faith and other virtues
Having Mary Mackillop as an example is a fresh change from the many tinsel town heroes that are shoved down our throats with sugar coating and little substance. Congratualtions, Mary of the Cross : )

Will the real Jesus stand up?

"The cattle are lowing
The poor Baby wakes
But little Lord Jesus
No crying He makes"

Ah, excuse me? "No crying he makes?" no crying? A baby? I don't think so.

This is a great example of the New Testament Jesus being covered up with (Christian) religious sentimentality. "Away in a Manager" is a great Christmas Carol but like many portryals of Jesus, it is just plain untrue. The Bible has always portrayed Jesus as someone who suffered like we have even though he was God on earth.

So not only would he have cried like any other baby, he also would have added to the stable stench with his own nappy /diaper filling. Try singing that in a carol this Christmas.

Later in life he hurt and ached and suffered like the rest of us. Here are a few words directly from the Bible:

"He had to be one of us...Jesus has suffered and was tempted, he can help anyone else who is tempted." (Hebrews 2:17 -18)

"For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. " (Hebrews 4)

"...and asked, "Where have you put his body?"
They replied, "Lord, come and you will see."
Jesus started crying, and the people said, "See how much he loved Lazarus." (John 11)

"When Jesus came closer and could see Jerusalem, he cried ..." (Luke 19)

and so on...

The thing that really bothers me about the 'sanitising' of Jesus Christ is that I suspect people who have not read the New Testament for themsleves get this namby pamby picture of Jesus who has been basically 'photoshopped' & 'airbrushed' into a gentle distant religious figure that has no relation to our everyday life.

I dare anyone who has that view of Jesus to read through any of the Gospels - in one sitting, like you would read a short book. Also, use a current translation in a a language you speak at home.

Take your pick - pick up a Bible and read one of the Gospel books in the Bible (you can read them in a couple of hours) either Matthew, Mark, Luke or John and ask yourself honestly if this is the Jesus that is often presented as "little Lord Jesus No crying He makes"

Let me know what you discover!

LSF National Conference "Who Me?"

LSF National Conference 2010

Theme: Who, Me? -Conference gets personal
"This year’s conference theme will help us examine and unfold our identity,
relationships, and purpose. Through excellent guest speakers, small group
studies, personal prayer, fun and relationships, conference will help us get
personal with Jesus, with peers, and with the world."

When: 28/12/2010 to 02/01/2011

Venue: Crystal Creek Christian Camp
43 Murrays Rd Alexandra VIC 3714

Cost: Fees: $265 (workers)
$250 (students)
$200 (year 12)
$130 (weekenders)

Any enquiries, please contact Steph Juers at,

You can register online here:

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Paradoxical Commandments

I've never seen myself as a 'natural' leader, I'm a little too eccentric for that; but over the years I've grown to appreciate (and hopefully learn from) leaders who understand Jesus' 'servant-leader' model.

I found this little bit of prose (by Dr. Kent M. Keith) and thought it was worth putting here because my experience confirms it:

The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.

Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.

Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.

Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.
© Copyright Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

You can find the 'origin' of these "commandments" here:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Here's a message from Pilgrim Lutheran Church for all you starving students in the Magill Area:

Dear Uni Students,
Can we help you?


Free bread & bread rolls available from Pilgrim Lutheran Church
21 Edward Street Magill {off St Bernards Road} every Wednesday night
[enter through front door]
… come and help yourself

(BTW, It's just normal bread - you won't get one of these:)

***Please note: if you are a starving student at Mawson Lakes have a chat to Pastor Stephen Trautwein who also knows where to find good bread

Monday, August 16, 2010

Our view of politicians and what the Bible says

As much as it might hurt....your vote does count - so do it intelligently and prayerfully!

Here are a few passages from The Bible that spell out our attitute to our leaders - whoever they might be.

(Please note: the political climate was much more volitile when these were written, which makes the statements even more powerful)

Pray for politicians

1 Timothy 2

"How To Pray. First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them. Pray for kings and others in power, so that we may live quiet and peaceful lives as we worship and honour God. This kind of prayer is good, and it pleases God our Saviour."

Don't break the law

Romans 13

Obey Rulers. Obey the rulers who have authority over you. Only God can give authority to anyone, and he puts these rulers in their places of power. People who oppose the authorities are opposing what God has done, and they will be punished. Rulers are a threat to evil people, not to good people. There is no need to be afraid of the authorities. Just do right, and they will praise you for it. After all, they are God's servants, and it is their duty to help you. If you do something wrong, you ought to be afraid, because these rulers have the right to punish you. They are God's servants who punish criminals to show how angry God is. But you should obey the rulers because you know it is the right thing to do, and not just because of God's anger. You must also pay your taxes. The authorities are God's servants, and it is their duty to take care of
these matters. Pay all that you owe, whether it is taxes and fees or respect and honor.

Let love be your only debt! If you love others, you have done all that the Law demands. In the Law there are many commands, such as, "Be faithful in marriage. Do not murder. Do not steal. Do not want what belongs to others." But all of these are summed up in the command that says, "Love others as much as you love yourself." No one who loves others will harm them. So love is all that the Law demands. "

On rare occasions you may have to choose between obeying God or obeying your leaders (make sure you are right first!) and be prepared for the backlash
Acts 5
Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! (read on to see what happened)

Monday, August 2, 2010

LSF Mid Year retreat 27 - 29 August

"Relationships & Sex"

(Credit: I cut and paste most of the following from "Mid Year Retreat - Relationships and Sex" Facebook page with only slight editing)

August 27 at 7:30pm - August 29 at 1:00pm

LocationGlenbarr Camp and Conference Centre
Paris Creek Road
Strathalbyn, Australia

Created By

More Info
'Relationships and Sex' will be explored from many different angles over the weekend with the assistance of our 3 guest couples/speakers who have extensive experience and insights on the topic. You are invited to bring along all relavent questions that you may like to as our couples, both personally and anonymously.

The retreat will also offer you the opportunity to relax and chill out with our LSFers early in semester two.

Prices... for fulltime:
1st time camper $55
Students $65
Worker $75

Part-time is also possible. For part-time rates, please contact Adam Kauschke

Please do not feel you cannot attend the camp because you cannot afford it! Please contact me (or Mike if you can) for more information about this

Things to Bring: Bible, note book & pen, sleeping geat, towel and toiletries, playing cards/boardgames, warm clothes.

please do not just say you are coming on here to the camp! Either log onto and fill out the online form OR fill out registration form from the midyear retreat pamphlet and send it to:
"Mid Year Retreat"
c/- 5 Edgeworth St
Prospect 5082

Andrew (president) - 0422 367 598 or
Adam (events) - 0434 912 039 or
Mike (pastor) - 0409 725 573 or

Monday, July 26, 2010

Monday, June 7, 2010

What can seperate us from God's love?

During these heavy times of assignments and exams you probably don't want any more words ...but I'd like to give you a bit of perspective of the bigger picture.

Let's assume the following verses are really true ...and see what that means for us in the middle of all the annoyance, panic and bother and other overloaded feelings you are probably going through:

In everything we have won more than a victory because of Christ who loves us.

I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love--not life or death, not angels or spirits, not the present or the future, and not powers above or powers below.
Nothing in all creation can separate us from God's love for us in Christ Jesus our Lord!

From Romans chapter 8 in the Bible

What can separate us from God's love; apparently ...nothing...that includes work, study and exams. Take heart!

Disability Services - University of South Australia

Monday, May 10, 2010


"Dear friends, God is good. So I beg you to offer your bodies to him as a living sacrifice, pure and pleasing. That's the most sensible way to serve God. 2Don't be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him." (Romans 12:1-2)

I'm going to use the word "secks" here so that some of your internet filters don't block this article.

You who are reading this may have a different opinion to what I'm writing but please reflect on it. I respect that you are adults and can live life how you choose. This is my opinion at this time:

Director Justin Sisely is in the process of 'de-flowering' some willing people for a doco.

...and no matter what side of the argument you are on - the verse I took from Romans 12 is a reminder that:

(a) We do have choices - it's ultimately up to you what you do

(b) God - who made your body - actually does have a preference in how you use it - so don't let anyone tell you that he shrugs his shoulders and doesn't care.

(c) You body IS connected to your spiritual life - there is no separation of body and soul in this life. What you do in your body is a reflection of your soul - and what you do with your body will effect your spiritual life - so take care of yourself and others.

(d) If you have problems with what God wants you to do - he is OK with you discussing it with him - in fact we are often encouraged to pray to God ... even if we disagree with Him.

Let's not forget who invented this whole 'secks' thing - and let it be known that God is not a wowser - his creation is very rich and varied and is not something cheap - but something to be valued.

Luke 7:36-50 (and myriads of other verses!) tells each of us that if you feel you have already cheapened your body and spirit - that God is very willing to give you a new start. That's another CHOICE that you have; a choice to start again and receive an offer - this is an offer from God himself, no one else can give it to you.

On the other side of the coin - the time we spend in our bodies - is limited. And those of you who have frail bodies would understand that our bodies are not perfect.

This blog from 'Erin' - who was a student a few years back is worth a read for a bit of perspective:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Quiz Night!

You are invited to come along to LSF's

***Quiz Night!***

When: 6.30pm (for 7pm start) Saturday 8th May,

Where: ALC Refectory, 104 Jeffcott St, North Adelaide

Cost: $10 (there will be prizes on the night)

What: BYO drinks and nibbles

What else: To book a table of 6-8 or if you would like to be fitted into one contact Adam Kauschke on 0434 912 039 or

Why: why not?

Here's some great lyrics : )

Monday, March 22, 2010

Christian Groups/ support people on Your Campus

If you need support or encouragement from other students, have a look at these webistes of Christian groups on your campus. There are plenty of people around. If you become aware of other groups, please let me know. I've had contact with all of these groups over the years and recommend them. Some groups are more 'social' while others are more 'spiritual' yet they all have a combination of both. Find the contact person on the site and let them know what you are after.

Evangelical Students (ES)

Catholic Youth

Oxygen (Pentecostal)

Overseas Christian Fellowship (OCF)

Lutheran Students and Friends (LSF)

*Other Chaplains (and Christian Support Workers) on your campus*

Catholic Chaplains at Mawson Lakes
I spent a friendly afternoon with these people last week - if you are or know anyone who is Catholic or lapsed Catholic, I'd have no hesitation sending anyone to them. Arturo also has a heart for overseas students. They are:

Arturo Jimenea,
Sister Liz Tham
Father Roderick O'Brien

Available Tuesday 12.30 - 1.30pm during semester8258 2314 (work)Room: H1-33

Revd Father Silouan Fotineas (Greek Orthodox)
I have not met Father Fotineas yet but he is on the official UniSA site:
Available by appointment Mobile: 0438 334 370

Rev.Stephen Trautwien from Mawson Lakes Community Church has special interest in supporting international students. He does a 'bread run' to international students who live near the campus and is always brimming with new ideas on how to best support students from overseas. I've got to know Pastor Stephen a bit over the years and he has a long history of helping people out. So, if you know any overseas students who are a bit lonely or need a hand contact Stephen on phone:

8162 5108 or 0403 007 156

Monday, March 8, 2010

2010 welcome


I've just spent most of the beginning of this year moving house. The feelings and thoughts swirling around in my poor tired body remind me of what it was like being a tertiary student – the beginning of the year is all crazy with a lot of organizing, meeting with people, planning, trying to do everything on a shoestring budget. Often you need advice and practical help.

If this is you, then you’ve come to the right place. There is a lot of support if you need it. You can refer back to this page – because you never have to go it alone!

LSF = Lutheran Students and Friends

Lutheran Students and Friends
A friendly group of Christian students who organise camps, conferences, monthly worship services and guest speakers, social events and a quarterly newsletter called ‘Grapevine’. Check them out.

The overseer, the Man, the head-honcho, the big-cheese is Rev Mike Pietsch
he is very approachable - so don't hesitate to contact him if you have any questions about LSF - or, indeed, being a tertiary student:

Contact Rev. Mike Pietsch: 0409 725 573 (mob)

or LSF South Australia president:

Andrew O'Loughlin - Email:


*There’s a commencement camp coming up 19-21 March at Aldinga – great way to get to know people!

Here are a few details:

Theme: "Jesus Vs Buddha?"
( I don't think it is aggressive, but a looking at other religions from a Christian point of view)

Speaker: Rev Dr Dean Zweck

Dates: 19th - 21 March 2010

Where: Aldinga Beach Holiday Park

Prices: 1st time LSF campers= $55
"Students who already know how great LSF camps are" (I didn't write this)= $60

Contact Mike or Andrew for more details.

See also: LSF on Facebook
and/ or submit an enquiry about it on the LSF/SA site

Your Local Lutheran Churches

Don’t be shy to set foot in a church – many of the people will not pounce on you and will be willing to lend a hand if needed.

See below (last post) for all the contact details!

And I’m in at Magill on Tuesdays and Mawson Lakes campus on Friday afternoons – don’t hesitate to contact me if you need someone to talk to.

Tim Oestmann, Chaplain,
UniSA Magill and Mawson Lakes
(mob: 0404 303 084)