Thursday, March 29, 2007

New church starts in Classifieds

This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image courtesy .

THE perception of a church community that is growing, in contrast to the contraction of congregations in "traditional" Christian denominations, has prompted a bold move through our Classifieds.
A recent headline has announced, "New Church in Cleveland". That’s how Tony and Kate Case, who moved from Tamworth in 2005, launched their bid to help enrich the spiritual lives of Redland residents.
Within a month, the couple already has hosted about 20 people, aged 10 to 80, to services in their home, Tony says.

TONY, founder of Liberty Church in Tamworth, came to Queensland after Tony he had a heart attack at 46 years old.
"I have been a financial planner for 32 years and Kate and I thought we would step back from ministry and focus on building the business," he says.
"We have visited many local churches but have come to think others may want to become involved in a new pentecostal church.
"We are not here to take to anybody from any other church. Our ‘market’, to use a term of my profession, is the ‘unchurched’-- those who for whatever reason do not attend the exisiting churches."
Tony was born and reared in Nottingham, England. He was Baptist before he migrated to Australia in 1974 and became involved in the Lighthouse Christian Centre in Wollongong. He went into fulltime ministry in Gosford in 1989.
Tony and Kate met in Tamworth and married in 2004.

WITH another note from his professional life, Tony has lots of figures to show how the pentecostal and charistmatic Christian communities are growing while other denominations are in decline.
However, he says the new Cleveland Church will simply aim to focus on relationships, contemporary music and positive messages.
Tony found some responses to the published notice "quite interesting".
"Some people, clearly from traditional mainstream churches, have asked, ‘Why are you not working through the existing churches?’," he says.
"The world has about two billion Christians, of whom about one billion or half are Catholics. About 600 to 700 million, or one third of Christians, are pentecostal or charismatic.
"And I don’t see any decline in the pentecostal denominations which are in fact increasing exponentially – from only about 20 million in the 1970s."
Tony Case told me his story and verified this account on March 21, 2007.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Schnauzer 'breaks out' in microchip mystery

Image from

ANYONE hoping an embedded microchip will ensure a rapid reunion with a missing "best friend" may take a lesson from the experience of a Redland Bay family.
When the chips were down, so to speak, after the family’s miniature schnauzer, Maggie, escaped their Redland Bay Road home on a Saturday afternoon, technology proved useless.
An old-fashioned "Lost" sign on a pole, however, worked wonders, just when hope was fading, and distraught owner Lesley Heidenreich again could give the pooch a loving cuddle before a new week of doggy mischief.

SOON, it was like all the drama had not occurred. On the Sunday night, Maggie was again up to her old tricks, sneaking into the bedroom of Lesley’s eight-year-old son, Calum, despite repeated admonitions from Lesley.
Nearby, Lesley’s nine-year-old, Jared, again slept peacefully after a weekend of trauma. Meanwhile, Lesley was thinking how to avoid panic such as began after she let Maggie off her leash on private property.
"We live on acreage and we were in the yard with her," Lesley said. "When I realised she was no longer with me, she would have been gone five or 10 minutes.
"We doorknocked Redland Bay Road and Double Jump Road and put out fliers. I phoned Redland Shire Council but could receive no help outside office hours.
"Maggie is registered in New South Wales but the place with the records is not open at weekends. At lunchtime on Sunday I put up a big sign near the BP garage."

ABOUT 3pm, the sign caught the eye of a Thornlands vet. He phoned Lesley to say he had taken care of Maggie since a woman had rescued the dog from busy Redland Bay Road and asked to leave her at his clinic. Phew!
The experience left Lesley needing resolution on several matters. She immediately found a 24/7 dog microchip registration service.
She also placed a Lost & Found notice saying, "Thank you to the lady who picked up my dog … I would like to thank you personally."

ALMOST a week passed without a response but Lesley was still optimistic the meeting will occur. After all, Maggie came home, didn’t she?
Thanks for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cue-game business takes winning break

THE Redlands business community was a little puzzled a few years ago when a highly successful company supplying tables and accessories for the gentle sports of billiards, snooker and pool disappeared from its high-profile location.
Master cabinetmaker Rod Jeffries and wife Christine had come from Tasmania in the mid-1990s, set up a formidable presence for Unique Billiards on Redland Bay Road, Capalaba, won the Redlands Small Business Award in 2000 and kept expanding.
Then the signs came down and Unique Billiards retreated from the commercial heartland to Mt Cotton Road, Sheldon, making many wonder if something had gone wrong.

JUST over four years later, the bewildered can be assured the move actually meant things were going right – so right, in fact, that Christine says the firm has "never looked back".
"We were getting bigger and bigger but cheap imported tables and accessories from China were starting to flood the market," she says.
"We decided what we really wanted to do was make top-of-the-range high-quality tables. The staff here are like family really – we would rather have them than buy a container load from China.
"So we moved from high volume sales to personalised design and service."
With Christine as designer-decorator and Rod’s skills from nearly four decades in his trade, Unique Billiards has sold tables between Newcastle and Emerald.
It is now meeting a surge in demand with sales doubling in the past six months, Christine says. Prices range from $2000 to $16,000.

CHRISTINE says Unique Billiards has made some magnificent tables, including one in New Guinea rosewood and with handcarved legs for a room in the same timber. The client was a Redlands timber merchant.
Although the tables often feature exotic and special timbers such as Tasmanian oak and blackwood Christine says buyers’ tastes are changing.
"We are now also producing contemporary designs in stainless steel and chrome, and with maybe purple cloth instead of the traditional green," she says.
Unique Billiards imports cloth from England and slate from Italy. Ex-Taswegians now in the Redlands may remember television advertisements featuring Rod as "Hoss Cartwright" and offering a bonanza from his Devonport business, Bedroom City.
Christine says her husband now prefers to keep a lower profile and a hands-on approach with the firm’s five other trade specialists.

THANKS for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising. This story has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Rebel finds God in spraycan

This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia. Image courtesy of "Sudsy"

MANY must have sighed with relief in the mid-90s when a court case involving many charges of willful damage and trespass unveiled the face behind the graffiti tag, "Sudsy".
The face belonged to teenager Oliver Walker, who migrated with his family from England in 1980, lived in Perth before moving to Brisbane in 1983 and, after seeing the cult movie, Beat Street, devoted himself to the graffiti underworld.
"Sudsy" admitted tagging just about anything that stayed still in the Brisbane and neighbouring areas for almost a decade before the law caught up with him.
The sentence of more than two years jail must have been sweet for the mainstream community that dismissed his expressions as vandalism and an affront.
The penalty certainly would have delighted those counting costs of restitution of his "canvases" to their gloriously blank states but "Sudsy" later "got off" with probation, fines and community service.

HISTORY shows the wisdom of the appeal system in giving that reprieve. Oliver, now 32, married and with kids aged 6 and 3, says the "breathing space" allowed him to understand himself better and to want to help others -- not necessarily with paint supplies but simply to offer a caring hand and sympathetic ear and to share his art and life in other ways.
Oliver Walker says he called himself "Sudsy" because someone once made a practice of holding his hands in near-boiling dishwater as discipline. He was just a little child.
But Oliver does not seek sympathy over his own past sufferings. He says his escape to WA after the court case was "light at the end of the tunnel".
He worked with Fremantle groups including the city council, youth service and art centre, and in the years since, he has also worked in WA and Queensland in aged care and with the disabled, and qualified as a chef.

NOW a youth worker at Brisbane Youth Detention Centre, Oliver says he "rediscovered my Christianity" along the way. He has lived at Birkdale and Alexandra Hills for the past five years. He still paints for himself and others.
Oliver, who has advertised in our Fast Find Services under the heading "Murals/Artist", told me his story and verified this account on February 28, 2007.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Computer skills give early start in business

This column has appeared in The Redland Times, Cleveland, Redland Shire, Queensland, Australia.

FIVE years ago Dave Lee was only a teenager when he took a step that can cause nervous jitters in people many years older and with a lot more worldly experience – he started his own business.
Working from his family home at Cleveland, Dave and a mate who was studying information technology at university set up Bayside Computer Services with little more than their ability to understand and fix computers and a trickle of customers.
Today, at age 22, Dave runs a Cleveland shop and is building a base with some important corporate clients, as well as individuals who need “anything at all” in the field of computing.

BAYSIDE Computer Services features under the heading “Computers” in The Redland Times Fast Find Classifieds but it is a lot more than an emergency service for private computer users needing a fix in a hurry.
“Your place, our place,” the notice says.
But “your place” is just as likely to mean a business as a suburban home.
“At first the jobs were just computer repairs but I did a diploma of IT network engineering at Southbank Institute, started a little bit of networking and now I have a few big companies behind me,” he says.
“I am network administrator for Century 21 at Victoria Point and Redland Bay, Sea Eagle Electrical at Victoria Point, Multifix Constructions at Logan and a few other smaller firms.”

ABOUT one year ago, Dave’s younger brother, Simon, joined him to work from the Doig Street shop. The pair aims to provide a 24-hour service, attending to any need the same day or the next.
The brothers get along well, with Dave saying Simon has been a great addition to the business.
Dave, who had his introduction to serious computing as a student at Sunnybank High, has not been a typical “geek” and neglected physical pursuits.
For most of the past 10 years, he has played soccer with the Beenleigh and Redland clubs as a forward.
“I wasn’t playing too well last year so I am going to have a season off,” he says.
It looks as though Dave will need the extra time as Bayside Computer Services keeps growing.

THANKS for joining me in the marvellous community of classified advertising.