One of the things we have in common with J&L is theology … so we were delighted when L suggested we join him for a preaching conference during our stay. We met at a city centre church … an older building, very traditional, but with a lively ministry especially amongst students (there are at least 7 universities in Melbourne!). It’s a convenient, central venue, so we were able to take the tram and arrive in good time.

There were three talks, interspersed with times of prayer and refreshments – and over by lunchtime, too – the benefits of a 9am start 😮

The first session was entitled The High Price of Preaching (1 Kings 19:1-18) by Mike Raiter of the Centre for Biblical Teaching … an inspiring look at discouragement in ministry. He then went on to look at God, Preaching, and ‘the Anointing’, a rather less satisfactory offering on power in preaching – basically be faithful to God, the text and the congregation. Then we had a time of prayer in groups … how wonderful to be prayed for by folk living 10,000 miles away, as we prayed for them and they for us. After refreshments (fantastic cookies!), Murray Capill of RTC Australia spoke on Great Expectations: What does God expect of preaching and what should we expect? which was excellent (click on the image above for resources).

Afterwards, L suggested we try Korean for lunch … Op-Pa apparently means ‘elder brother’, but we were unable to discover the context for the name of the restaurant. The menu was basic, explaining the flavour but not all the ingredients, so my KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) was indeed in a garlic soy sauce and came with pickled radish and Korean coleslaw (!) as listed, but there were also unexpected potato wedges and I have no idea what the chewy bits were! It was sweet but delicious. Tim had a beef curry – not too hot, and the curry sauce was very tasty, while L had something less recognisable, bulgogi, served with a quite normal side salad. And all very reasonable. I’ve noticed too, that most restaurants serve ‘table water’ so drinks need not be an added cost.

(In fact, water is available in all sorts of places – such as water fountains in public places, including those with the facility to refill bottles and to fill a dog bowl!)

We went our separate ways, Leroy to catch a train, and ourselves homeward, walking first through the botanic gardens to a cup of tea at the lake, before catching the tram home – it was quite warm by now, around 30C, so we reckoned on cooling down in the aircon at the apartment, and packing a picnic, before setting out again for our second concert at the Music Bowl.

There were fewer people this evening, though the arena still felt full, the gates weren’t closed and people drifted in throughout the evening. Apparently there were 12,000 on Saturday, many of them settling around the outside of the arena once the gates were closed, so somewhat less than 10,000 tonight. It was warmer, too … though once darkness falls, so does the temperature. Not such a familiar programme tonight, but enjoyable all the same. I had time to notice that all the instruments were individually mic’d, which explains the quality of sound – they must use an awesome mixing desk.  

Yet again, we took the tram home … we are making good use of the system, and with a cap of $8.40 a day, it’s good value all round.

Not a single photo today!!