Best Goal of 2011?

It’s been almost a year since my last football (soccer) blog post… This goal is amazing! Mexico beat USA in the Gold Cup this weekend. Here is the final goal from Dos Santos:

Flippin magic!!! Joga Bonito!!!

Best goal of 2011? If not, show me what you think is better in the comments…

(h/t Craig Foster)

FIFA World Cup Review Show with Jeff Vuvuzela

I said here that I’d do a FIFA World Cup 2010 wrap. Here it is. Will Ferrell plays the role of Jeff Vuvuzela, the inventor of the Vuvuzela. No violence. No language. No nudity. But part of it is slightly crude. If you’re under 15, check with your parents.

When we went to the Sydney FC vs Everton match the other night they were confiscating Vuvuzelas from people on their way in. I’ve also heard they are being banned at lots of English Premier League clubs. Good decision!

See you in four years time World Cup!!

Maradona is not God

Argentina struggled to qualify for the World Cup, they’ve now been dominating each of their games. During qualification, the impression I got about Maradona (their coach and one of the greatest players, like ever!) was one of a has-been-crack-pot incapable of doing much with the team! But, so far so good. One of the fascinating things to observe is how much the people and players of Argentina treat him like god. Literally. Here’s a crazy throng of photographers snapping him singing the national anthem!

Check out a whole bunch of brilliant photos from boston.com.

If you don’t know the true and living God… check this out.

Praying for the World (Cup)

I used to worship soccer. That’s dumb. Worshipping soccer is as foolish as worshipping a scarecrow in a cucumber field. I’ve been getting fairly excited about the 2010 World Cup. Almost too excited! To help keep things in perspective I make it my aim to pray for both countries at half-time of each game I watch. The World Cup is an opportunity to learn about 32 different countries and work out how to best pray for them.

If you’re a Christian. Here’s some ideas for prayer during the World Cup

  1. At half time. Pray for both teams. Don’t pray for one team to win, pray for stuff that matters in the big picture of eternity.
  2. If you’re on twitter use this hashtag #Praying4WorldCup to share what you’re praying and encourage others to pray with you.
  3. Spend some time on Wikipedia learning about the countries
  4. I’m currently preparing a very brief guide with one thing to pray for each team. I’ll post it here when it’s finished. EDIT: It might take a bit long, so maybe not.
  5. If you have Operation World, keep it near the TV
  6. Check out The Joshua Project for stats on unreached people groups in the world.
  7. If you know missionaries or some of the needs in any of the countries, share them in the comments below.
  8. EDIT: New idea – check out the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students website www.ifesworld.org

GROUP A: France | Mexico | South Africa | Uruguay

GROUP B: Argentina | Greece | Nigeria | Korea Republic

GROUP C: England | Algeria | Slovenia | United States

GROUP D: Germany | Australia | Serbia | Ghana

GROUP E: Netherlands | Denmark | Japan | Cameroon

GROUP F: Italy | Paraguay | New Zealand | Slovakia

GROUP G: Brazil | Korea DPR | Côte d’Ivoire | Portugal

GROUP H: Spain | Switzerland | Honduras | Chile

Check out the Latest #Praying4WorldCup tweets:

Pinch + Punch // June 2010

During summer, I had an “embracing summer” policy. It just meant I wouldn’t ever complain about the heat, but rather seek to enjoy it. I’m doing the same (or kinda the opposite!) this winter. I’m “embracing winter”. This means I won’t complain about the cold, wet or darkness; but rather enjoy this season in its time. If I complain about something to do with winter and you hear it – you have permission to slap me. Deal?

The high light of June will definitely be the FIFA Football World Cup held in South Africa. During the 1998 World Cup, my trial HSC was significantly impacted by late nights watching soccer matches. This year I have 2 exams at college during the world cup… good luck studying! This month’s Smashing Mag Wallpaper is the better of the 2 soccer related ones (see above). Australia for the win!

Here’s the best of May (according to clicks) and some other stats:

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Jesus is Nambawan!

I like soccer. I love Jesus. It used to be the other way around. While in Vanuatu, it was fun to combine soccer (football) and Jesus. The Nivans are football crazy. So we ran a bunch of football games with the locals. Find a field. Start kicking a ball. People turn up. At each game, I gave a short talk. It was interesting to think through how and what to say in a short period of time to a group of people who aren’t all English-speakers.

Jesus is numbawan!

After interacting with local kids in the schools and at the football games, the common message became “Jesus is nambawan!” (“Jesus is number one!”). Football? It’s number two, because Jesus is number one! I shared from the most famous verse in the Bible on what Jesus has done and how “faith” is having Jesus as number one: “God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die” (John 3:16). We also prayed together that God would help us to have Jesus as number one.

High-fives were replaced with high-ones and “Jesus is nambawan!” was often heard from the windows of our buses! I think it was an effective message. Vanuatu is a country where the majority of people are living with Jesus as number one. So most of the kids who played football are already Christian. Hopefully we were an encouragement to them to keep living with Jesus as their king. One day, they might look back fondly at those crazy white guys who were crazy about Jesus. Not crazy about Jesus? Check this out…

With all this talk of Jesus as number one, I’m reminded of the following video. It’s probably the pinnacle of my film-making career (below the jump):

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Should Frank Farina have been sacked?

Brisbane Roar made a brave move today in sacking Frank Farina as the coach of the A-League football (soccer) team. On Saturday morning, Farina was charged for the second time for drink driving. Farina was one of Australia’s greatest players and I believe a very good coach. Were the Roar a little bit harsh in ripping up his contract?

frank's distraught eyes

I don’t think so. While I genuinely feel sorry for Farina, the seriousness of the action taken against him shows how much responsibility coaches have in their example to their players and the community. Other football codes, of which Rugby League particularly comes to mind, would do well to take note of the swift and serious consequences of stupidity – only then will they have any chance of changing their seedy culture.

Here’s what Roar Chairman, Chris Bombolas, had to say:

“I acknowledge Frank’s contribution to the club but we can not excuse or condone his behaviour off the field [...] It is simply not in step with we expect of our players or our coaching staff, or what the community expects [...] The message from our board is very clear: the community and our fans expect a professional standard of conduct and behaviour and so do we.”

PS – if you stumbled here via google, I used to think that “soccer was life, and the rest just details” – that’s a bit silly, life is all about Jesus.

A-League 09/10 – The Mariners are back!

Season 5 of the A-League kicked off last night. The Central Coast Mariners upset the defending champs Melbourne Victory 2-0. Here are the highlights:

There are two new teams this season, Gold Coast + North Queensland, which makes for a longer season. Bring it. Here’s my tip: Mariners won’t leave top of the table all season – and then will beat Gold Coast in the GF @ the end of the season…

Soccer isn’t life, but…

As a teenager I read a soccer magazine that had the same tagline at the end of each editorial: Soccer is life, the rest is just details. I used to believe that, but now I believe that Jesus is life and the rest is just details!

FIFA Street 3

Soccer may no longer be number 1 – but there are some killer soccer vids on youtube!! Check out the vid below – some of the moves may even be real!!

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Soccer vs Cricket

Generation Next embraces the A-League is an interesting article comparing the crowd at yesterdays football (soccer) match and the crowd at the cricket match next door.

soccer vs cricket

Here’s a snippet:

Yesterday, generation next chose soccer over cricket. There were more aviator sunglasses at the SFS than on the set of Top Gun. Twenty-something women in tight shorts almost outnumbered the blokes with designer sideburns. They all marched through the gates to the techno beats of an outdoor DJ, who bleeped and tweaked alongside the main entrance.

I think this has implications for churches engaging with their culture. [Read more...]

A-League Grand Final 08

Newcastle Jets defeated Central Coast Mariners 1-0. By the looks of it, the Mariners didn’t deserve to win, but nonetheless there were some frustrating decisions from the referee. The match ended in controversy. Watch the videos below for more…

The match highlights:

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Why I’m NOT going to the Grand Final

The big game is tonight and I’m not going. I’m not going because I worship the Creator and not creation. I’m not going because I worship the Saviour and not soccer.

Mariners Fever

We finished at our old church in January and it was a genuine temptation to not start at our new church until March, so I could spend February watching all the big Sunday night matches. How stupid! That would have been serving a false god (soccer) instead of the True and Living God (Jesus).

If you know me at all, you’d know that I love soccer, but I hope you also know that I love Jesus more.

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New World Game Website

SBS have just launched a fresh new look for their The World Game website (more info on the game they play in heaven). It’s got more of the web 2.0 interactive feel to it (just like triple j), but I don’t think the design is brilliant. It’s a step in the right direction, just needs a bit of tweaking.

the world game

Do you need a website designed? Maybe I can help you? Let me know…

ps – The Jets will be joining the Mariners in the big A-League GF next Sunday night…

The game they play in heaven

Football (also known as Soccer) and not Rugby Union is ‘the game they play in heaven’. This post has been prompted by some big matches about to be played (Australia vs Qatar, QLD Roar vs Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners vs Newcastle Jets) and a proper understanding of the Bible.

every tribe language people nation

Rugby Union is an ugly distortion of the ‘beautiful game‘. Based on Revelation 5:9-10, I believe that there won’t be a Tri-Nations Rugby Union tournament between the 3 Rugby playing countries in heaven, but rather a full-blown Football World Cup with participants from “every tribe and language and people and nation”. Soccer is for all nations. Jesus is for all nations.

However, the cheering at moments like these is but a soft whisper compared to the glorious cheering at this moment.

Joga Bonito.