Tuesday, April 26, 2005
The Search (the St Ives Youth Outreach) officially finished Sunday evening. As far as Sunday evenings go I must say I was having the best one in a long time. Church after the mission was good, challenging us on contentment - do we have it, where do we look for it with several choice words from Jesus thrown in there.
Post church saw me sampling some of the ministers home brew - very tasty! And then over to the pastors house to chill out and 'chew the fat'. As I sat out the back with Mike and Justin we laughed at a few kids who were causing quite a comotion out the front. They were riding around on tiny (and illegal) motorbikes and basically being louts.
The laughing stopped an hour later when on inspecting my car (which had been parked out the front) I found the kids had torn the entire side mirror off the car and then attempted to yank off the back number plate.
What the heck is going on here people????!!?! What kind of world do we live in? These kids should be strung up by their feet and be held still as I repeatedly throw my 7 kg side mirror at their groin, face and chest! ......well maybe it doesn't have to be that aggressive, but still, where is the justice?
1 great week of outreach work, a week of being faithful to the Word, of good relationships, of changed lives, positive community and then the culminating climax of a broken mirror and a twisted licence plate.
..it is a fallen world,
but luckily the words of Jesus earlier that night were quietly echoing in my head.
the cross still comes before the crown.
Thursday, April 21, 2005
If anything, last nights opening of our 4 day youth mission proved one thing to be true. That is, the only way to reach youth is through their friends.
This is no mystery, its been known for years, decades even, but for some reason people still think that if you advertise enough you can skip the Christian kids and have a room full of non churched, God hungry teens. To quote a blog from last June - "sometimes there are too many wise men stuck in the toilets and too many monkeys in managment."
Anywho, lets cut a long story short and say that last night (after advertising primarily through the Youth group already established) we had over 200 kids between years 7-12 come along. They sat and heard that in God's eyes they are very valuable, they are very important and the choices they make have eternal significance. They heard the problem of sin and the good news of Jesus. On top of this was good food, a crazy trivia evening and some top music.
I was humbled on my way home with the whole thing. My role in this affair is to speak to the year 7-9 group each evening based around the theme that what is impossible for man is possible for God.
Last night 1 guy expressed that he had decided to turn to Jesus..... this is a life changing moment for him, a moment where God's spirit switched on the light and shone truth into this guys heart. A moment that will affect and shape him 10,000 years from now! its big stuff.
At a time in the week when I have too many talks and lessons to write and not enough motivation, this news settled my heart and gave me peace.
God works in His time, His way in His world. I am reminded that Jesus more often than not sided with those who were real rather than those who were good. And a moment like this makes you painfully aware of every inadequacy that exists in your self and every inch of grace that is painfully given through the King.
As far as this outreach goes, I'm sold.
If last night was the 1st and only night....then I'd be happy. Thankfully God has given us another 3 and my prayer is that I can be real with those I meet rather than simply good.
Monday, April 18, 2005
The church weekend away convicted me in several differing but still important areas.
- I really like playing team sports (we had a top game of ultimate and a very complicated but hugley satisfying game of slips catches - ending with Gerard diving into the barbed wire fence, a little scary but pretty damn entertaining!)
- I enjoy meeting new people and I don't feel as intimidated by the whole thing as I did 5 years ago.
- I once again realised that a life that does anything else then help explain and build the Gospel is a half life. I'm quite happy for you to justify or explain why your not going into full time ministry, but as for me, I can't live with the 'explinations' I often come up with for not doing it.
Ofcourse the above are not in any order of preference, thats just the way they tumbled out.
I also got the news on Sat. night that Joel and Bec are engaged! So although I've already said it twice, let me just congratulate you one more time. You've done good...both of you's.
I had a great chat this morning with Trudy, the lady who owns my fav. cafe. Trudy is in her 50's and has owned the cafe for about a year. She's always good for a chat and this morning we discussed what options I have for next year (work? college? bum?). On one level, even though I work full time for the church, I feel this is my greatest witness.
Purchasing a coffee is somewhat of a fragile affair. At 7:45am, pre caffine, my guard is down, my heart more open and my mind a little more relaxed. It encourages the best kind of conversations and the best kind of ministry. Its a travisty that some people buy coffee from the same place every morning, but never relate to their barristas. Time to change people.
Friday, April 15, 2005
Just this morning I read a quote that Bairdy had written down some time ago. It helped to put things in perspective, to realign my self a little.
The following is a fav. quote of mine from Philip Yancey. It's mood is very similar to what I read this morning.
"The Bible tells of a murderer and adulterer who gained a reputation as the greatest king of the Old Testament, a man after God’s own heart. And of a church being led by a disciple who cursed and swore that he had never known Jesus. And of a missionary being recruited from the ranks of the Christian torturers. I get mailings from Amnesty International, and as I look at their photos of men and women who have been beaten and cattle prodded and jabbed and spit on and electrocuted, I ask myself, "What kind of human being could do that to another human being?" Then I read the book of Acts and meet the kind of person who could do such a thing—now an apostle of grace, a servant of Jesus Christ, the greatest missionary history has ever known. If God can love that kind of person, maybe, just maybe, he can love the likes of me." (What’s So Amazing About Grace)
It truely is a bizarre reality to be faced with - that is the reality of God.
These words echo in my heart as I prepare a talk for kids, sharing with them that even a murderer can be forgiven by God.
In one sense this concept has never ceased to amaze me.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
The last 4 days I have been working on a series of 3 talks for a youth outreach next week. They are some of the 'slowest to write' talks I have ever written. The combination of being on 'holiday' from school and the knowledge that I don't actually have to give the talks till next Thursday have both acted to depower me on every level.
Below is a photo of me with a gun (in Vegas) just to prove to you all that regardless of my current sittuation I am actually.........dangerous.
Below that is the new nectar - Woodstock and Coke. Last year when I was working in Glasgow, the boss lead us (during a day off of course) on a wild goose trip round glasgow in search of this beverage. Apart from sore feet we attained very little and ended up back at his house drinking the pub's JD that the boss often took home for 'professional development'.
Anyway, this week I found it at liquorland.
Add a couple of candles, recording gear, an electric guitar and something to sing about - and you've got yourself a Thursday night!
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
The lethargy is a strange animal.
So cuddly, so cute, so friendly and let before you know it those llama hoofs have got you pinned to the ground and you can't do a thing - go for a run, eat good food, get out of bed!?
A little shy, the lethargy llama usually appears when something else has already knocked you down. Then as your eating dirt and wondering how you got there along he comes offering so much. Some weeks ago I welcomed his intrusion, introduced myself and became friends. He taught me so many skills that were helpful for lazy living and at the time I loved it.
But no more.
Last Monday as I was snoozing with the lethargy Llama I heard a bark in the distant hills. It was the discipline dog. His bark was strong and roused me from my slumber. Since then the dog has pushed me to an array of hillarious, yet helpful fitness classes.
..I've done them all. An 8km run yesterday and back for my second Body Pump session this morning.
My lethargy llama has taken flight and his friendship is no longer welcome.
"Suck eggs", I say to you. Be gone and don't return.
PS Below are a few more pics from the mountain weekend (easter). There was a true array of good times. Enough to share with y'all.
Monday, April 11, 2005
I usually only like writing posts when there is something that deserves to be blogged. But tonight I'm going against the grain. I have 20 min before a Church Parish Council meeting and I've got nothing to do.
My reason for being at this meeting is to give an update/ progress report on how I have been going in my job at the High School so far this year. My tactic for these types of meetings have always been the same - Blitzrieg. So tonight I'll arrive dressed to the 9's and distributing a
St Ives High School Scripture - Rationale and Outcomes 2005 booklet to the council members.
Ofcourse the only potential backfire is that my bluff is called and they see me as a character defined with the phrase "more arse than class". I'm hoping that if this is the case, my newly purchased business shirt and black shiney shoes will pull me through.
In other news my weekend pulled an 8/10 as far as weekends go. Coffee with mum in the morning, email sending during the day, long run down at the beach in the evening and a viewing of High Fidelity with a few glasses of Sth Australian Cab Sav. in the night. Can a day get much better than that? I think not.
Ever have the feeling that your floating?
Don't get me wrong, I love my lot in life at the moment, this cloud is real comfy.
But I'm still floating.
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
For several reasons, none of which are worth going into at this point, the last 3 months have seen me slipping off the runners and slipping into a few more beers, pasta's and toasted cheese sandbo's. Not a bad thing really. The post work beverage and high fat snack is always something that brings a smile to the face and if I have to resort solely to that then I will !!
It's all good until one evening (lets say Saturday.... for example) you jump the scales just for a quick check up and find you have gained ...9 kg in the last 3 months!!!!!!!!!!
Lets hold up for a second here people. I'm not talking the extra kg or two. No, I'm talking the weight of a small child of which I'm now carrying around and within me, and I haven't partaken in any of the joy associated with reaching the pre-child carrying stage!? So what's going on?
The answer to that, I don't know. But what I do know is this: at 6am this morning I was at my gym taking part in a 'Pump' class. Being dictated to by a mad woman with a Britney style microphone up the front I sweated my way through an entire hour before heading to work.
This was not a solo expedition however, joined by Jarryd (sporting a great white, red and black head band) we dominated the floor and whilst both being repremanded several times by the Nazi microphone lady up front, we did pretty well.
Thursday morning is 'Body Attack'.
9 kgs people.
Saturday, April 02, 2005
Starting off the pics below is my Monday morning experience. Steve and I headed into the city to fleneur. To put it bluntly, fleneuring is the art of observation. You sit and observe and in doing so, create lives behind the people who are around you.
The bonus of having two people is that after a tasty cafe breakfast and 3 pages of observations you can swap and see the difference. Two people writing observations on the same place at the same time - and yet what goes down on the page is often a little different. I would provide you with an extract, but I left it at home. So maybe next time.
After the breakfast and fleneur we hit the streets to see what pics we could take. We walked past this old couple sitting out on their porch enjoying the morning - both of us thought it'd be a cool pic. So we went back and asked if we could take a snap shot. What ensued was a top class conversation on life, love and the pursuit of happiness. They were a funny pair, not married, just friends (for the past 40 years!) - the gentleman living a few blocks down. They had a great sense of humor and it was refreshing to have a genuine conversation with some complete strangers.
Going back in time 2 days we find ourselves in the Blue Mountains. Good Friday arvo through to Easter Sunday arvo. Joels joint in Katoomba is amazing and it was a great time to chill, paint (or attempt to) play a few tunes, drink coffee and down a refreshing Becs at 11:45am?! I blame it 100% on Daylight savings - I thought it was post midday! Honest.
I continue to be amazed by the good hearts of my friends. In no way could they look after, encourage and spur me on any more. It is such an undeserved gift that the Lord provides me, to Him be the glory. Amen.