Wednesday, July 29, 2009
National Press Club lunch televised live on ABC TV nationally - “Draconian and undemocratic: Why Bikie laws won’t work”, Wednesday 05, August 2009 at 12.30pm.
Outspoken critic, group spokesperson and club founder discuss. Participants include; Professor Paul Wilson, is the Professor of Criminology at Bond University and an outspoken critic of these new laws which he sees as selective, dangerous and ineffective. Ferret is the spokesperson for the United Motorcycle Council NSW. UMCNSW is a coalition of 18 motorcycle clubs and aims to provide clubs and individuals with an avenue for dispute resolution. Our own Founder and International President, Rev Dr John (Bullfrog) Smith with his wealth of experience in both club circles and on matters of human rights.
Visit http://www.npc.org.au/upcomingSpeakers.html for more detailed information.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Whatever the circumstances, there are times when we inevitably ask this very logical question in rather unforgiving circumstances. Being a member of God’s Squad gives us no immunity to that for sure. It could be somewhat rather uncomfortable riding conditions or a plethora of other reasons; ridicule, misunderstandings, communication breakdowns, being taken for granted or even wondering if we are actually fulfilling the function we say we do.
I recall one particular conversation, back at the bar, after a funeral. It had been a hectic day and naturally there were many raw emotions - we had had a prominent role, and a deep responsibility entrusted to us, in leading our friends through their grief as they said good bye to a much loved brother. I felt a heavy hand on my shoulder, the kind that’s had a few beers, but there was a warmth in both the embrace and the words that followed; “I don’t believe the same as you; but we really need you guys around at these times”.
The sentiment of these words I have heard many many times over the past twenty years and it’s these stories I recall when I ask, ‘is this really worth it’? I love Eugene Peterson’s translation of Jesus words in Matthew 5, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’, in The Message as; "You're blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.”
The way of Christ continues to offer no immunity to struggle and questions, but it also continues to be the road of making ‘beauty out of ugly things’ as U2 sing in ‘Grace’. I let my fingers thaw out enough to refuel the bike, and press on as the sun begins to rise.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Concern Australia is the Christian mission and youth outreach organisation that grew from the radical ministry of Dr John Smith and the volunteer work of God’s Squad members and their families with youth on the streets, in schools and in prison.
God's Squad continues to have a very close association with CA and for those interested in this wider work, the following links for newsletter downloads maybe of interest, they also contain comment regarding the current new laws related to motorcycle clubs in Australia :
Winter 2009 Newsletter
John Smith Quarterly Essay
Monday, July 20, 2009
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Members from the UK made the 1400 mile round trip to join the celebrations, along with the Dutch Associates.
Photo's will follow in the comings days I am sure . . . . as will the launch of the Germany Chapter Website.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
CARE FOR THE MARGINALIZED
One of the great things about being on the road is you meet new people and you get to know existing mates so much better.
God's Squad has a tradition of having members and those closely associated with the club involved in work among many on the margins of society - in Australia, much of this is formalized and encompassed by an organization called Concern Australia. Through this long established movement, programmes have been working with street kids, persistent young offenders, in schools, jails and been a consistent voice for the poor and oppressed.
(Bogdan far left & his wife Anya, far right)
Whilst in Ukraine it's comforting to be among those within our God's Squad community and experience that same care for the marginalized; different country and language but the same motives. Bogdan and Anya have two small children and are based in Kiev. They share their home with between 12 and 17 teenagers who come to live with them and be part of their family when their time at orphanages expires at age 16. Whilst in Bogdan and Anya's family they get help with running a home, getting into college and finding work. Many too work through very complex and traumatic issues from their early years. It's a truly special place - the peace and love of God is evident and very real in this busy family home. This time it was great to return and see how some them have progressed and grown in confidence and faith.
AROUND THE WORLD ON A PANHEAD . . . yup you read it right.
Whilst in Odessa we bumped into Doug. Doug is from Alabama and rides a '62 rigid panhead and he's taking it around the world. It's his second circumnavigation - the first time was on an Indian, (it's far too easy on a BMW apparently.) Anyway, we had a great time in his company sharing stories and he went on up to Bogdan and Anya's to share their offer of hospitality before travelling on to Moscow. If you're interested you can check out his travelsHERE and his reflection on that part of his journey in the forum.
(Top group photo courtesy of Doug's travel blog)