Purposeful Parenting

Going for Broke

We all want was is best for our kids but what does purposeful parenting look like in practice?

Follow the creator of Anton’s Antics’ as he negotiates the challenges of being a parent.

“The blog's slogan started off as a joke between my wife and I, as it can be tough making ends meet and parenting is not easy. I want to hear Jesus say ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ with what He has entrusted to me.  We have to go for broke don’t we?

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Bono’s favourite word: Joshua Tree Moves To Melbourne

larrydrumminggimp‘Our prayer for tonight is for an epic night of rock ‘n roll’

says Bono as U2 commence playing ‘Bad’, the fourth song in their opening, ‘entrée’ to the Joshua Tree, set.

It becomes clear that this band needs no gimmicks nor high tech hardware to take on a stadium of 40,000 people as they open, pub rock style, by themselves on the b-stage that is shaped in the form of a Joshua Tree and play a blistering roll of pre-Joshua Tree hits including Sunday Bloody Sunday, New Year’s Day and Pride In The Name Of Love.

But that was later, much later, after a day getting to Melbourne and queuing up for hours to get an amazing position just behind Larry’s drumkit.

The Animal Farm

Our plane is delayed so we land a little later than planned in Melbourne. One of our friends has already been to the stadium earlier in the morning to check out the general admission queue.

Seems we are not ‘in’ on the latest system of getting a place close to the front of the field. She’s got some wristband on her already, numbered at 448. She says to come straight to the stadium. So, instead of heading to our hotel we get an Uber straight to the stadium to find out what this is all about. When we arrive a security, person is handing out wristbands to 3 people, she looks at us and says, ‘these are the last three’; 498, 499, 500. We are 501 and 502.

Apparently, Stadium staff are cooperating with a fan led system of numbering that ensures those who are in the know and turn up at designated ‘roll call times’ will get an early entry to the field and front rows position.

Annoyed? Disappointed? Yes.

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Thankful for Common Grace: U2's Joshua Tree Buds in Brisbane

adamsigns1‘Here we are! Here you still are!’ celebrates Bono as the band and crowd jointly spin off the incredible energy generated by the opening track of the Joshua Tree, ‘Where the Streets Have No Name’.

I’m up in Brisbane to catch the first show of the Australian leg with a mate of mine who lives here.

I thought I’d pause all the Anton stuff for a week or two and share with y’all something that is dear to me.

These boys are a bit like family; under my bed and in my ears for years. So, when family comes to town, I like to hang out for a bit.

Thanks to all my close family who’ve given me birthday gifts that I never spent (until now)!

What do I want to share with you about the 30th Anniversary Joshua Tree tour from U2?

Thankfulness

If there’s one thing that shone through on U2’s first date in Australia for almost 10 years, it’s the high spirits of thankfulness.

You might think it’s easy to be thankful being a Rockstar.

But their thanks are about little things and big things.

Common grace.

Blessings not just to the ones who kneel.

With both NSW and Queensland on ‘Catastrophic’ fire alerts and both states experiencing incredibly hot conditions, there were touching moments where the band thanked and dedicated ‘Bad’ to the fire fighters ‘keeping us all alive’. Bono was in fine form with snippets of Midnight Oils ‘Beds are Burning’ no sarcasm intended.

Makes you wonder 'how can we be more publicly thankful and lead our kids in thanks for the common graces that abound?'

The actual show (seen from the nosebleed cheapy seats, 3 rows from the back) was a bonus for me.

Big highlight – Edge and Adam sign my pics

The highlight was hanging out with about 20 fans before sound check and actually getting to meet Edge and Adam and have them autograph a few items for me. I know it will sound dumb, but after more than 30 years, its surreal to actually be standing opposite them and eyeballing each other. I have a photo of Adam signing a picture for me and you can see his minder watching my hands very carefully!

So, I won’t say it was an easy moment for me…tense. You don’t want to be uncool. You don’t want to pinch more than your share. You don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable. You really over think these moments. I’m sure they find it all a bit awkward in other ways. There are guys here with me from all over the world. People who travel from Japan, Ireland, the US and see just about every show they do. So, I am small fry and not by any measure a really devoted fan; just thought you should get some perspective!

Okay, now the sound wasn’t as good as I’d hoped, but it is a footy field and we did have the cheapest seats in the house. The band are in great form, ripping through songs like butter and hopefully the next shows, on the pitch, close to the band performing, will see us enjoying a sharper sound.

Let me in the sound!

Sounds of conversion: Kanye and the King

jesus is kingI’m not a huge fan but I saw Kanye live back in 2006, supporting U2 in Australia.

I remember him describing some car accident or incident that God revealed himself in. But there were and have been since then, so many other dissonant lyrics, questionable antics and self-aggrandizing behaviour, that has kind of left me thinking…hmmm, that’s a celebrity faith, not a real one. More like, Jesus is cool in some ways, but I’ll keep my cake and eat it, thanks.

Plus, over the past decade we’ve all been ‘damaged’ in different ways by the carnage of social media, and who could ignore the contribution of the ‘butt-ress’ of Instagram, Kanye’s wife, Kim Kardashian.

But then came the Sunday services and the release of ‘Jesus is King’ last week and on first listen I can’t help but hear the sounds of conversion.

The thing is rap is king and it’s the music of our kids. So, as parents, like it or not, we should engage. For me, I like moving forward, I like hearing new music, I don’t listen to the music of my past that much. I created a rapper for my kids show, Anton’s Antics called Skito. Skito’s music started as a musical interlude and celebration that invited the kids to see God’s word in another way.

Here is a rap album, from a major artist that you can unquestionably unleash on your kids. I've been giving it a spin and wanted to share my initial experience of the track listing, ready?

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Where will your kids find their value and why does it matter?

overcomer

Where will your kids find their identity...who they are?

In having a mum or dad? In your love for them?

In having a family to share laughs, hurts, the mundane and the exceptional?

In the home you provide for them? In the way their siblings treat them?

In their achievements at school or sport? In the career they choose?

In the ministry they serve in?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, you should see the Kendrick Brother’s latest film, Overcomer.

Here's my reflections and review

Many of us don’t realise it but we place our value in the roles we have, like being a mum or dad, the work we do, the accomplishments we make, the rapport we have, the recognition we’ve gained. It can creep up on us and shock us when something that defines us is swept away. We are left reeling and wondering ‘who am I now?’

Sometimes our value can come from lack of achievement…we feel worthless because we haven’t achieved. We set out to sail the seven seas but barely got out of the harbor before every boat we built sank.

If you lose a parent…you might ask the same question in a different way…’who am I now I don’t have a dad?’

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How should a woman be sovereign over her body?

ultrasound-edward-cisneros-blog-unsplashOk, hot topic…abortion.

In the past week NSW government passed a bill to decriminalize abortion, allowing full term abortions for any reason, as long as two doctors are willing to sign off on it.

What was also striking was the way in which the bill was introduced to Parliament, without the usual protocols and procedures that allow time for proper consideration, community consultation and debate. Many of us were taken by surprise at the lighting speed from the time of announcing the bill to its debate and passing.

Some said that the Premier must have swung a deal with the Independent who introduced it so she could stay in government. Hmmm, one wonders, why the rush?

What I felt was once again the temperature is rising.

Erosion of Christian values is gathering speed

Both the content and manner in the way this bill was handled to me demonstrates that the wind is changing, people in our society are quite happy to see the back of Christians.

They want the baby and the bath water out. Literally.

What can we do about it? Should we keep quiet? Should we push Christian values on a secular society? Doesn't a woman have a right to sovereignty over her own body? Let her be?

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Mum, is it ok for Christians to get tattoos?

folautattsYour kid might not be desperate to get inked, but the prevalence of tattoos these days means they are going to be on their radar. 

Doesn’t the Bible say something about body markings?

How do we interpret and apply the Old Testament laws?

Isn’t it inconsistent to apply some and not all of the laws?

Professional Footballer Sacked for quoting 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

Recently in Australia a footballer was sacked for quoting/paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 on his Instagram page, but he was also covered in tattoos. Was that hypocritical?

Here’s the Instagram post that got him sacked:

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How to handle the anti-free speech bullies

bully-katblog"You no good, your song’s no good and you in it for the money! So &*%$"

People will say anything to bring you down.

Like fishermen they just keep trying different tackle, different bait to see what ‘gets your goat’ the most. It doesn’t have to be true; it can be plain defamatory because all they want is to see some impact, discourage you and block your path.

In promoting the fee speech protest song by Skito, ‘Out on My Erse’ through Facebook ads, I try to leave as many negative comments visible as I can. I think I’ve only deleted one post that was really nasty and didn’t think it deserved any air. I like to leave them there because the words are a testimony against the owners. While they claim to be the opponents to so called 'gay hate speech' the content and tone of their posts often set the bar for truly viscious hateful language. Sometimes their words are rants, shouted from the comfort of someone’s phone or device. On some posts or ad id's I choose to hide a few comments because its my page/ad afterall and I want to focus people’s minds on the song and the issues rather than distracting people with the sewerage of the trolls’ vitriol.

Nehemiah and the 2nd temple wall builders faced up to bullies

Remember the people in Nehemiah’s day?

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What to say when people call you a bigot or 'gay hater'

allanimalsequal‘Four legs good, two legs bad’ is the mantra or slogan of the animal farm as they throw off their human oppressors. But as Orwell’s parody unfolds, it is the pigs who soon elevate themselves to elitist power and oppress their fellow animals for their own gain.

Online this week I was trolled, I was abused, I was hated, sworn at, ridiculed, put down and mocked for supporting a footballer who was sacked for quoting a Bible verse.

Some of it, I laugh at myself. Some people see a guy dressed up as a rapper in a low fi-video, as prime target for ridicule and I get that. But many, ironically miss the point. Skito, the rapper is a satirical character, a send up of all ‘performer personas’, especially in the music business. But, whatever…I see how they take aim at me for not being ‘real’. ‘Your so lame and your song is lame’…they say, without even hearing the song’s full recorded version.

But what they really hate, is not the parody or low production values of my ‘making of’ videos (some even acknowledge the connection of Skito to other parodies, like Chris Lilley’s Angry Boys or Lunatics) but the fact someone would dare enter their space, using a platform like Facebook, to offer an alternative view.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Skito Fuels 'Folau' Controversy With New Single

 Out on My ErseSYDNEY, AUSTRALIA, June 13th, 2019, Indie rapper, Skito, is fired up to release his bold new single “OUT ON MY ERSE” on iTunes and other stores today.

The artist was deeply disturbed over Australian rugby player, Israel Folau’s plight and subsequent sacking from football, compelling him to write this powerful new track. The unforgettably playful catch line, ‘I said a Bible verse, now I’m out on my erse’, contrasts with some heavy hitting beats and bold lyrics that are sure to raise more than an eyebrow. Diverse vocal personas, creative arrangements and a genre shattering break out section ensure this track is not going to be left out on it’s proverbial.

 

About Skito:
Skito is an alias created by performance artist Stephen Shearsby in 2010, with the original intent of bringing an uplifting and at times confronting musical component to his children’s show, Anton’s Antics. While Skito’s early songwriting leaned gently toward a family audience, it wasn’t long before more mature works emerged. While a debut album is in the works, Skito felt the issues surrounding Folau, including free speech, tolerance and hypocrisy affect everyone and could not be ignored. Skito broke away from other songs to write and complete ‘Out On My Erse’ in less than a week.

‘Some songs you choose to write, this one chose me’.

Out On My Erse is Out Now!

(Sneak Peek) new song slams hypocrisy of Bible verse sacking

Israel Folau single cover art 1...freedom of speech, domestic abuse are just some of the subjects takin’ down in Skito’s new song.

As you may now, Skito is an alias I created in 2010, with the original intent of bringing an uplifting and at times confronting musical component to my children’s show, Anton’s Antics. While Skito’s early songwriting leaned gently toward a family audience, it wasn’t long before more mature works emerged. While working toward an album, Skito felt the issues surrounding banned footballer, Israel Folau, including free speech, tolerance and domestic abuse, affect everyone and could not be ignored.

 

Watch the SNEAK PEEK of Skito's song as we listen back in studio to one of the recordings.

fb.me/skitomusic

Be warned: this song takes aim at the hypocrisy of banning a guy for quoting the Bible while letting players who beat their partners back on the field

 

PS: Follow Skito on his Facebook page and sign up for all the exclusives and updates.

PPS:What's the cover art going to be?

 

I give you the image that is one ninth of the full cover art...what do you think it will be?