The Chris Morphew Interview

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2014-10-10 21.30.17

I had the dinner with world famous, YA fiction author, Chris Morphew, the other night. I took the chance to interview him for the blog. I must say, it was an inspiring experience. Here is some of Chris’ wisdom for the world.

On healthy eating

Do you know the food pyramid? I kinda reimagined it and I follow what’s called the food cube. It’s carbs, that’s the bottom layer, and the top layer is meat. And that’s the cube.

On his hair and beard stylings

People say [I look like] Paddle-Pop Lion and Jesus. Those are my two heroes, so it works out quite well.

On fame, being an author and his recent tour of the United States

It’s about who you are and not what you do. A situation that came up that made me realise that it was much more about character and who I am, than what I produce was when I was at a school. I spoke to the kids, then afterwards all these kids came down and wanted to get selfies because they’ve all got Instagram and stuff. And after every school I would check my Instagram followers and watch them pick up and think about how great it was to be a big shot famous author. And then this photo came up and it was me and some girl who had taken a selfie and it said “Life made! Selfie with an Aussie!” So from that I took away that it’s a lot more about my identity as a whole person rather than just the work that I output. I don’t think that any of them had, or will, read my books, but they were very impressed with my accent and the fact that I was from a different country to them.

Advice for aspiring authors

Be Australian. Or if you can’t do that, find the country where your accent is a novelty. I feel like if you’re anywhere but America, go there, but if you’re American, go to New Zealand maybe? I feel like that would work.

Advice to me for getting married

I’ve heard good things. My observations [of marriage] are mixed but I think just be you. You said that your fiancé is Lebanese, so maybe if you play up your accent maybe she’d be impressed by that. I mean, I met her, and she sounds pretty Aussie so it won’t be a total novelty for her but if we can transfer what I’ve learnt about writing to what I’ve learnt about marriage, and I think we can, that would be my tip. Play up the Aussie larrikin. And, I don’t know, do some dishes?

On what he learned watching “The Equalizer” staring Denzel Washington

I learned that there’s murder, and then there’s “art-murder”. It would have been much more efficient for Denzel to kill people with greater precision with a gun, rather than with a quickly rigged up barbed wire noose, or a drill, or explosives in the microwave, but that’s his art and I don’t want to devalue his art.

You can buy Chris’ books The Phoenix Files in all good book stores (hopefully). He’s also working on some other books and you’ll be able to buy them at some point too. Also you can follow him on Instagram @crispywords.

Absent

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I’m sorry to all my hard core fans out there that I haven’t blogged for the last three days. I’ve been at Black Stump filming and speaking, and there was no easily accessible internet. I’ll try and be back on my game now that I’m back in internet land.

Let me leave you with this photo I took of Mike Frost speaking in the Main Meeting at Stump.

Black Stump-1

Dream it, Achieve it

It used to think being an itinerant speaker would be an awesome job. I think I even prayed a few times that God might let me be one. And now, my job is to be an itinerant speaker.

I think what excited me about the idea of travelling around and speaking places was:
A) When you just do one off speaking gigs people tend to be really appreciative
B) When you visit a place once you don’t have to deal with all the baggage and mess doing life with people brings
C) You get to preach all the time, which would be awesome

Now that I’m doing the job, I’ve found that all those things happen. People are much more appreciative of my speaking when they don’t have to listen to me every week. And when I arrive at a school, youth group, camp or church, I usually don’t know what’s going on for people. I get to be blissfully unaware of everyone’s issues. And I’m preaching 4-5 times every week, sometimes up to 5 times in one day, it’s great!

But all these things aren’t all I hoped they’d be. It’s nice that people are nice to me about my preaching, but it’s rare to ever actually be challenged on what I say, or given tips on how people think I could improve, or given much in the way of feedback at all. There is little pushback from those who listen, because you’re just passing through.

Often, when you’re just passing through, you miss the continuity of relationship that you get from day in, day out ministry. You might not have to deal with peoples problems, but they’re is a joy in getting to play a part in helping people know Jesus better in the midst of life’s messiness. Plus you also miss out on their triumphs. You just see a glimpse and then you move on.

I do love preaching regularly. But when you’re preaching 3-4 new messages a week, there is no time to stop and reflect on the scriptures. When I have to keep preparing new stuff, everything seems under done.

However there is some good stuff about itinerate speaking that I didn’t know about:

I get to be on the road a lot, I love driving, I love listening to audiobooks, I love being alone.

Getting to do the same talk many times, I get to perfect it, it’s fun being able to work on the nuances of a talk rather than just getting it done.

You get to speak about the big passages all the time. None of this obscure stuff. You just do the greatest hits of the Bible.

So I guess I’m happy. I’m glad I have achieved my dream, my prayer has been answered. The lesson perhaps is, your dreams are rarely what you expect, but that doesn’t make them any less worth aiming for.

Or perhaps there is no lesson. This could just be a blog post about my job.

Camp Life

I’m on camp.

Sharing a cabin with a coworker. He falls asleep. I check Instagram for the first time in a day. A video automatically plays. I wake him up.

Camp life.

There’s a mosquito in here.

Camp life.

My water bottle won’t fit under the tap in the bathroom. Had to fill it up in the shower.

Camp life.

I get to spend my week leading a bunch of excited, passionate, teenage Christian leaders.

Camp life.

Wedding Spreadsheets

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Gosling Excel

It turns out getting married is quite the administration behemoth. I’ve seen bridal mags, and none of them have sexy pictures of Excel spreadsheets. Apart from being the groom I think my biggest contribution to this wedding might be managing the spreadsheets, making sure we have meals for everyone and beds for everyone, making sure we know who’s coming when, who to pay when, who we owe what to, and how much money we’ve gone over budget. There are plenty of people out there busy making paper cranes for our decorations, or sourcing ethical plates, or practicing music, or writing sermons and so much other stuff and there’s Em heading up everything creative about this event. Me, I stay up late looking at the Google Docs adding up numbers and hoping there are no glaring holes. If someone turns up to the wedding and we had no idea they were coming, it’ll probably be my fault.

I think I’m going to start a wedding blog about wedding admin. It’s gonna go off. Brides and Grooms-to-be from all over the world will come and get tips on the best way to format your RSVP spreadsheet, how to colour-code your budget or automate your seating plan. Times are gonna change. No more of hipster weddings being in, I’m gonna make admin sexy. People are going come to weddings and say “Wow, you can tell they’ve done some great work on the backend.”

Sharehousing

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I moved out of my place today and moved in with my parents for the five weeks before the wedding. I was getting kicked out of my granny flat so that the owners parents could move in, so I decided to take the opportunity to move back in with the family. It seems a nice way to say good-bye to un-married life, end it back where it started.

Em pointed out the other day that now that I’ve moved out of the granny flat, I probably won’t live alone again for a very long time, if ever. That’s an odd thought. The introvert in me thinks that perhaps I may have just given up something very valuable. I hope I made the most of it. I hope I walked around in my undies enough, and did as little chores as I wanted, and cooked for one enough, and watched enough stupid TV. Em told me that I can no longer have wedges as my staple diet. That hurt. Living alone was good.

Still living with people is good. Living alone is easy. And maximum comfort. Everything is just how you like it. Living with others is richer. More work. Greater rewards. I guess I can live with that.

Also Em said I can eat wedges once a week. So that’s pretty good.

Apologies for no blog post yesterday. I forgot. I was packing. I’m going to pack date with a photo from packing that Em took so you probably won’t even notice.

Right in the Feels

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I watched this video today. It’s about a woman who’s fiancé died 52 days before their wedding. She went on and did a “trash the dress” photo shoot to help her deal with her grief and move forward. They took some pretty beautiful photos. I got a bit emotional. I was watching at work, it can get a bit awkward getting emotional at work. Had I burst into tears I would have had to blame it on the Holy Spirit.

Anyway, watch the video. It’s special.

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