September 7 2022

Simon Says Magic!

I love magic tricks. I have ever since I was 12 and someone taught me how to make a coin vanish.

If you want to see all the magic tricks I have a video of (including some of my daughter’s), I post them on a Facebook Page here:

https://www.facebook.com/simonsaysmagic

Every year my church, Bundoora Presbyterian Church, holds a creative arts night to raise funds for missionaries, which we call Bundy Unplugged. At this event I have the opportunity to perform songs, poetry and yes, magic tricks.

This year I performed one I call “Lost & Found”.

Watch the video of it (shown above) and if you want to try the trick at home, go grab four different cards that you are ok with ripping up. It’s a lot of fun and it was a great opportunity to perform alongside my 7 year old daughter, Dot – whose magical stage name is Little Miss Direction.  

The trick also has a surprising ending and I thought I could maybe share some of the magical secrets of how it was done with my patrons on my Patreon Page. If that is something you might enjoy, tell me in a comment and also before I give anything away, tell me your theories for how I did it!

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August 30 2022

#HollyWord

I love movies and I love Scripture.

Over the last few months I have been creating a collection of memes combining a passage from God’s Word and a famous movie line and putting them next to each other. Sometimes one just provided a humourous commentary on the other, but now and then the movie line helped flesh out some of the meaning of the bible passage.

Either way, even if it was just for a laugh, I enjoyed making them and thought I’d put all 70 of them up here for you to look through.

Tell me your favourites in the comments section, and if you like any in particular, feel free to save the image and post it on your social media, just using the hashtag #HollyWord. And if you want, you can also include the link to this page so that people can enjoy the others I have created: https://simoncamilleri.com/hollyword

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July 26 2022

What’s in a Rainbow?

On the back of “Pride Month” and with the latest controversy involving the Manly Sea Eagles Football Club jersey, the rainbow is a prominent and popular symbol in today’s society.

This symbol of LGBTI+ pride has been around literally as long as I have been alive. Back in 1978, at the request of the first openly gay politician in California, Harvey Milk, the gay artist and drag queen Gilbert Baker designed the first rainbow flag. Baker explained, “Our job as gay people was to come out, to be visible, to live in the truth, as I say, to get out of the lie. A flag really fit that mission, because that’s a way of proclaiming your visibility or saying, ‘This is who I am!’”

The flag’s original eight colours were not accidental. Baker meant for each colour to symbolise something of their own. Hot pink was for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for sunlight, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit.

As a graphic designer and someone who likes a bit or marketing, I’ve got to say, it was an inspired choice. The rainbow is vibrant and happy and full of diversity. It has “every colour of the rainbow” and it communicates that same message – everyone is welcome and all our differences just make the world more beautiful. From a marketing perspective, it’s brilliant.

It’s no wonder then that this symbol has only grown stronger over the last 44 years. Now corporations use it to show that they are one of the “good guys”, restaurants use it to show their support for LGBTI rights, and as we’ve seen this week, Rugby teams incorporate it into their uniforms to express their values. As Manly coach Des Hasler explained, “The intent of the rainbow colour application of our jersey was to represent diversity and inclusion for all, utilising the symbolic colours of pride to embrace all groups who feel marginalised, face discrimination and have a suppressed share of voice. The jersey intent was to support the advocacy and human rights pertaining to gender, race culture, ability and LGBTQ movements.”

So the symbol of the rainbow may mean different things to different groups. For some it is a public expression of loyalty, for others it is about compassion and solidarity with various marginalised groups and for others it may be just about supporting inclusivity in general.

Scott Penn, the owner of the Manly Sea Eagles recently told the Herald from New York of their choice to use the rainbow on their jerseys, “It was never just about pride. It was about saying we want everyone in the game and making them feel they can get involved.”

It is, and will always be, a symbol of gay pride.

Despite this claim, many people naturally can’t divorce the symbol of the rainbow flag from its intended origin. It is, and will always be, a symbol of gay pride. It represents being proud of and celebrating sexual diversity outside of heterosexual desire and sexual activity. And “pride” is the word that is specifically used to reject any sense of shame or guilt or sin associated with homosexual sex.

This is why Christians have a problem with the rainbow symbol. The Bible teaches that sex is God’s good gift to humanity and that God has told us how and with whom it should be expressed. God also teaches us how it should not be expressed and this includes any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. This is why homosexual sex is consistently condemned throughout Scripture as sinful and why Christians who are committed to faithfulness to God’s Word, can not endorse, let alone celebrate it.

It doesn’t mean Christians should hate or reject or not show compassion or kindness to those who experience same-sex attraction. Not at all. Hatred and a lack of kindness is also condemned in Scripture. But neither can we ignore God’s Word on these topics and our love for people compells us to be honest about sin. As possibly the most famous bible passage on love states: “Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.” (1 Corinthians 13:6)

For many Christians, the rainbow symbol is an expression of delighting in something that God calls evil, and to do so would actually be a rejection of the greatest of Christ’s commands – to love.

This is most likely why those seven Manly rugby players could not in good conscience wear the new jersey with the rainbow symbol. Maybe the owner of the club is being honest when he says “It was never just about pride.” but it’s definitely partly about pride. And Christians should never be proud of sexual sin, either our own or someone else’s.

It is difficult though. As I have said, the rainbow means different things for different people. A Christian may say “I can’t wear the rainbow because if I did, that for me would be unloving” and all the world will hear is “hate hate hate”. As Jackie O recently commented on her popular KIIS FM breakfast radio show: “You hate gays that much that you won’t wear a rainbow.” For many people, to refuse to wear the rainbow is a symbol of lovelessness.

It reminds me of that episode of Seinfield where Kramer refuses to wear the AIDS ribbon.

Christians do not want to communicate hate. We do not want to communicate rejection or a lack of inclusivity in sport or a whole range of fields. But we also don’t want to communicate that God does not care about sexual sin. Or indeed that we take pride in it.

So in the end all we can do is try to be clear. We do not wear the jersey. We do not put up the rainbow flag. We do not bow the knee to the golden statue. But we also do our best to communicate that we do love and value and welcome all people no matter who they are. And we don’t just communicate that love through a nice tweet or a Facebook post. We demonstrate love in real and practical ways. We show hospitality. We speak kindly. We offer practical help. And even if we are hated for our beliefs or our refusal to wear a rainbow, we return that hate with love.

As John writes: “Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:13-18)

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July 18 2022

Peterson’s Message is Not Particularly Christian

Anyone notice that there was nothing particular “Christian” about Jordan Peterson’s advice to Christian Churches?

He suggested not to waste time getting distracted by peripheral issues, but then presented another non-gospel issue (encouraging men) that he suggests we put our attention to.

It was a bit like a super long Yelp review telling a restaurant that they need to get nicer lighting in their bathroom.

Like, good advice, but not really what the restaurant is actually focused on. And did you need a 10 minute video to make that point?

In the end, it’s fine to listen to if you’ve got a spare 10 minutes. He makes some good points. But he relates to the church as purely a social institution. Christ and him crucified is not mentioned. The gospel is not mentioned. God is not even mentioned. Souls are mentioned, but who knows what he actually means by that word? He’s probably not talking about one’s eternal destiny.

So take it as an interesting secular observation. Not as a prophet telling the Body of Christ how we need to repent and return to what we should really be on about.

If you want a better version of that, I’d read Christ’s “Message to the Christian Churches” in Revelation 2-3.

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July 8 2022

How a Government Bans Lizards

Imagine you were a government that hated lizards. You thought they were creepy and slimy and you imagined they carried lots of lizard diseases that infected every little crack of society that they were in.

You wouldn’t just come out and ban lizards. That would seem too harsh. That might be unpopular. After all, some people in parliament (who you need the support of) don’t have a problem with lizards. Not to mention the lizard owners in the general public who you want to vote for you.

So you don’t exactly ban lizards. Instead, you talk about the dangers of dinosaurs. You talk about how dinosaurs can eat babies and how they can squash people and are a great threat to society. And who can disagree with you? What type of baby-hating monster would want dinosaurs free to roam the streets?

And then you propose legislation that will bring safety back to the land, vanquish the dinosaurs and provide protection to all. Well, all except those people harboring dinosaurs.

The media calls it the “Dino Ban”. Catchy title. Who could argue with it being a good thing to introduce? Clearly, only those who want to see dinosaurs terrorising the neighbourhood. That’s not YOU is it? I thought not. You want to ban dinosaurs too don’t you?? I thought so.

And then the legislation gets released, and some people actually read it.

And some of those people notice that the legislation defines a “dinosaur” as any scaly, reptilian member of the of the Lacertidae family.

And some of those people speak up and say that this legislation is way too broad and effectively would ban all lizards, altogether.

But the fear of dinosaurs is now too great…

And the pressure to ban them too strong…

So the “Dino Ban” legislation gets passed with very little opposition.

And the little boy who raises his hand and says “Hey, aren’t dinosaurs extinct?” is called a bigot.

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July 4 2022

Patrons Quarterley Report! April – June 2022

All the crazy stuff I’ve been up to for the last 3 months!
With a special performance at the end of the video.

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March 16 2022

Simon’s Tshirt Designs

All my Tshirt designs are now only $32
FREE AUSTRALIA-WIDE DELIVERY FOR A SHORT TIME!!
(normally $10 delivery).

You can choose the size and the colour as you can see below.

Purchasing just the image

If you want to use one of the images for your own use, you can purchase a high-quality png file of the image.

Generally, for ministry purposes, images can be purchased by giving a donation.

If however, you wish to use it in a more commercial sense, contact Simon and that can be discussed.

Please fill in the form below, telling me what you prefer and I will be in contact with you promptly.

If the design you are interested in is not featured, just pick any and clearly tell me in the notes which one you want.

Order Below:

Please consider supporting me on Patreon.

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March 16 2022

My Questions to the Human Rights Commission

If you aren’t aware, Victoria has recently introduced a law banning “practices that seek to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity”.

The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission has updated its website to describe what is allowed and what is illegal. It is rather scary stuff. But more than that, at times it is just plain confusing.

This is not a good thing. If we are to properly assess this legislation and decide how best to respond as Christians, we need at the very least to understand it.

So I thought I would email the Human Rights Commission to get some clarity.

The following is what I wrote.


To whom it may concern,


I am finding it difficult to navigate what is or isn’t considered a “change or suppression” practice based on the information on the humanrights.vic.gov.au website.

I was wondering if you could please provide clarity on a couple of issues.

The Definition of “Suppression”

I have not been able to find a clear definition of what it means to “suppress” one’s sexual orientation or gender identity. The closest I was able to find was in the factsheet where this question was proposed: “Can I run a support group designed to help people not act on their same-sex attraction?”The implication is that to “suppress” one’s sexual orientation, is to “not act on” one’s sexual attraction.This understanding seems to be backed up by other places on the website where talk of being celibate or not engaging in a same-sex relationship is also deemed a “suppression”.I really want to make sure I am understanding this correctly, so I thought I would ask a few clarifying questions:

  • Is “to not act on one’s sexual attraction” a good definition of “suppression” of one’s sexual attraction?
  • Consequently, is it a “suppression practice” to instruct an individual directly that they should or must not act on their same-sex attraction? 
  • Or to put it another way, is it a “Suppression Practice” to instruct an individual that to act on their same-sex attraction would be a sin (an act condemned by God or needing repentance from)?
  • Or to put it a third way, is it a “Suppression Practice” to instruct an individual that the ONLY context in which they can act on any form of sexuality is within heterosexual marriage and the only alternative is celibacy?
  • If a religious leader is actually supportive of same-sex marriage, but instructs an individual that they must not act on their same-sex attraction until they get married, is this a “suppression practice”? Especially if it means they are required to remain celibate for the rest of their life if they do not find a partner to marry.

The issue of Heterosexual Suppression

  • If it is a “suppression practice” to instruct an individual that they must not act on their sexuality outside of marriage, is it also deemed a suppression practice to instruct someone to not act on their opposite-sex attraction within the same parameters? As with my last question, especially if it means they are required to remain celibate for the rest of their life if they do not find a partner to marry.
  • Are there any ways that a heterosexual orientation can be deemed being “suppressed” under this legislation? Are there any protections for heterosexuals from harmful suppression practices?

Personal agency over personal identity

I have also found it difficult to understand some of the statements around “gender identity”.The website defines it this way: “Gender identity is someone’s personal sense of being female, male, a blend of both or neither.” and the legislation itself similarly defines it this way: “Gender identity means a person’s gender-related identity, which may or may not correspond with their designated sex at birth, and includes the personal sense of the body (whether this involves medical intervention or not) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech, mannerisms, names and personal references.”These definitions describe gender identity as one’s “personal sense” of one’s gender or body. 

My question is, if this is the definition of gender identity, how can the Human Rights website claim that such a sense CAN NOT change, even if one wants it to?If it is one’s personal sense of self, doesn’t that automatically mean that it is a personal matter? It’s one’s own identity, not anyone else’s. Doesn’t it mean they should be allowed to have agency over their sense of self if they wish to change it? In fact, the very fact that one may wish to change it (which is acknowledged on the website) suggests that one’s own “personal sense” is fluid and on a spectrum that can indeed change. 

If people do have personal agency over their personal sense of self, on what basis it is illegal for adults to be prevented from seeking to grow or transition or change into what they believe is their “true self”. Who is to tell them what is or isn’t their true self? 

The website states: “The way someone describes their sexual orientation and gender is completely up to them. Everyone deserves to be surrounded by people who understand and support them.” and yet it also states that you specifically cannot support someone who wants to change their gender identity. How is that not a contradiction? Either it is “completely up to them” to describe their “personal sense” of gender and their body or it is not. Either “everyone deserves to be surrounded by people who understand and support them” or they don’t.

My second question on this issue is, with the definition of gender identity being as stated, how can it be claimed that “There is no evidence that…gender identity can be changed.” ?

There are many testimonies of people whose “personal sense of being female, male, a blend of both or neither” has changed over their life. Many trans people acknowledge a certain point in their life in which they came to understand that how they had previously thought of themselves was not their true self. They may have thought of themselves as a boy and over time changed in their personal sense of self. We know that our identity is fluid and develops grows and changes. There are even those who identify as gender fluid and would say that on one day their personal sense of self is one day and on another their personal sense of self is different. Lastly, there are those who de-transition or change their personal sense of gender later in life. With all of these examples, I don’t know how the claim that “There is no evidence that…gender identity can be changed.” can be maintained. 

Thank you for considering these questions, and I do appreciate you taking the time to respond. I very much want to understand this legislation and for it not to be misunderstood or mischaracterized. 
Please contact me if anything I’ve written does not make sense.

Kind regards,

Simon Camilleri


I will keep you informed if they respond to this email.

And please consider supporting me on Patreon.

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February 17 2022

Easter according to John

Special Announcement!

If you don’t know this about me, one of the artforms I have loved to explore over the last 20 years is something called “Biblical Storytelling”. Basically, it is committing to memory large sections of Scripture (usually narrative texts) and performing them with the dramatic passion that they deserve!

This Easter I am preparing a performance of John 17-20. Four epic chapters covering Jesus’ arrest, trial death and resurrection from John’s gospel.

I am offering this performance to churches in Victoria, Australia and so if you know of any churches that might be interested in booking a performance, please pass it on.

Download and share this image.

It probably will go for around 45 minutes and could be done either as part of a larger service or as a stand-alone performance (maybe with accompanying songs or gospel talk).

My fee would be $400.

At present, I am looking for bookings on Good Friday, Easter Saturday & Easter Sunday (morning and evening).

If this is something your church might be interested in, please get someone to contact me at: thebackyardbard@gmail.com

Or fill in the form below:

What does Biblical Storytelling look like?

If you have never seen me perform biblical storytelling or you can’t imagine how one person just reciting the bible could keep people’s attention, then check out these videos below:


If you have booked Simon you can download these graphic elements to help you advertise your event:

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

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January 24 2022

Simon’s Part-Time, Patreon, Poetry Party!

Watch Below – Sat 12 Jan @ 7pm (AEDT)

CLICK HERE TO WATCH ON YOUTUBE DIRECTLY

Poetry Party Program

INTRO: Simon Camilleri

REFLECTIONS ON STUFF

“Without a Thumb” read by Matthew Salter

“Braaains” read by Renee Mackenzie

“Know Thyself” read by Dee Kaylock

“The End of The World” read by Daniel Farrugia

TONGUE TWISTERS

“Selling Sea Shells” read by Derek Bendall

“The Apostles Epistles” read by Marcy Paynter

“A Better Betty Botter” read by Renee Mackenzie

THE DARKNESS

“Love Hate Relationship” read by Daniel Farrugia

“#LetThemStay” read by Kable Dale

“Easter Saturday” read by Eugene Wong

“Death” read by Roslyn Hicks

~ INTERMISSION ~

STORY TIME

“When Santa SHARED the Gospel” read by Bernadette Camilleri

“McGloon’s Balloons” read by Cameron Semmens

“Mary Had an Evil Lamb” read by Matthew Salter

(a surprise from Simon)

MAN & GOD

“The Man in the Moon” read by Roslyn Hicks

“Sonshine” read by Andrew May

“Wow God, Thank You, Sorry, Please” read by John Englezos

CLOSE: Simon Camilleri

Support Simon on Patreon

Becoming one of Simon’s Patrons will connect you with a community of people who are excited about helping Simon use his gifts to serve the Body of Christ.

It’s a monthly donation and you can give any amount you’d like to, but every bit helps Simon to continue creating gospel-focused resources in 2022.

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT SIMON ON PATREON

If you would prefer to give a one-off donation, you can give by bank transfer to:

Simon Says Publishing

BSB: 083-202

Acc: 11-676-5021

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Category: Life, Poetry | LEAVE A COMMENT