Tuesday, 28 December 2010

My first award!

Thank you Furree Katt for awarding me the Versatile blogger award!!!

I now need to state seven facts about myself, and then award this to seven other people...
Seven facts about me!
  1. I lived in Japan for quite a while, and can speak Japanese fluently.
  2. I am only a teenager. (but I like to think I blog like an adult...)
  3. I am a boy, and have an afro usually.
  4. My favourite Christian book (there are too many normal books to choose from!) is "The reason for God" by Timothy Keller. He makes everything so clear for me!
  5. My favourite colour is red.
  6. I like to photoshop, (can't seem to make a good header though!), read, and play guitar.
  7. I am more interested in writing this blog, than reading others, So I don't actually know who to give this award too!

As you may have seen in fact 7, I don't read many other blogs. So I hope I can change the rules, and just leave it at that. I hope you keep reading my blog, and learnt something new about me!


Sunday, 26 December 2010

Looking back, looking forward.

I remeber at the start of 2010 there was a big hype about how the next year would be. Would it be better, or worse than 2009? No one knew, but everyone hoped for the best. Now, at the end of this year, I think about the year to come. 2011.

A lot of people by now would be analysing what happened in their lives in 2010, and seeing if they had a good year or a bad one. For me, I don't look into the past, I look into myself right now. Am I more patient? More loving? Working harder? By answering these questions, I can see how the past year has made me grown. If I looked into the past I would probably see that I had more great times than bad times, and some significant events. But I wouldn't be able to see how they affected me. Even in times of suffering, I was probably still growing in faith, and other things.

What about looking to the future? To me, in the future there is only one thing that clearly stands out. That I will always have hope in something. I don't really bother to write a new year resolution, because it will probably definently fail. At least I have the assurance that I can always trust in God to get me through.

If someone asked me how I feel about the future, I would say that I am excited, but also scared, because of the uncertainty of life, but most of all, I am trusting in God to take care of me.

Thanks for reading my blog, and please comment if you do not agree with me, or were encouraged. I hope to get a page up about stuff about me, so keep looking!


Sunday, 19 December 2010

Writers Block - Oh No! Or is it...

I can't think of a topic to write about, that is long enough to be good, and deep enough to gratify my readers. The past hour I have been writing stuff, deleting it, and starting over again!

To give you an update, I will provide you things I have been thinking about, but in short summaries, and I might write more about them later.

Memories - The amazingness of the brain
I love my memories! They define who I am, and make me unique. The brain seems to be an impossible machine, that humans could never figure out. Whenever we have a breakthrough, more questions arise, and we go around in circles! Humans don't seem to understand half of what goes inside in their bodies, so I am glad that we have a creator who does know what is happening. Even though we know almost nothing a group of scientists are planning to use a memory eraser they invented to erase memories such as rape, or a witness of a murder. I hope I can share my thoughts on that some time soon, but I can't seem to gather my words properly. The only thing I will say is that I think it will be a disaster.

The deception in conversation
I love a good conversation with someone. But sometimes I feel like we are both hiding behind a barrier of lies. We will justify this barrier as for safety, so we don't get hurt incase the other person might think our ideas are stupid. We might also justify it as for the other persons sake. We don't want to burden them with our boring lectures on what we think about life. But, with this barrier, we are losing things as well. We can't identify the persons thoughts fully in the mist of lies, so we give up on trying to understand, which then leads us not being able to give encouragement to the person, which they might have really needed. I hope to also write more about this, but once I gather my thoughts more.

Men don't cry, and other things
I wish sometimes, I could just become so caught up in emotion that I would burst out in sobs, at a farewell, or a emotional moment, like after a amazing confession of faith, or a talk. But, this never seems to be the case. I blame society for this, because my mind has been so caught up in the "Men don't cry" slogan, that my mind keeps stopping me to do what I really want. It might be my fault though, because I let the society get in the way. I should just have a "I don't care what other people think, it doesn't matter" mindset. (Just to tell you, I have this mindset for fashion, and my talents, which is really good). I want to post this when I actually learn how to really ignore societies views. Then i might be able to tell you more.

I hope you liked my summaries. Follow my blog if you want to hear more, and I hope you enjoy!

Plus, if you have any ideas that you want my thoughts on, please comment, and I will gladly answer any of your questions.

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, 11 December 2010

Japanese Haiku

I wrote a haiku some time ago, and I'll share it with you. But first lets get some background information on the origins.

Japanese invented a very interesting form of poetry with very strict rules. The poet was only allowed 5 syllables in the first stanza, 7 syllables in the second, and another 5 in the last stanza. This form of poetry is called Haiku. A poet had to be very skillful in portraying their thoughts in a short sentence.

This is the haiku that I wrote.

ひまわりや Sunflowers
たいようめざして Growing taller everyday
のびのびと Reaching for the sky

Do you like it? I wanted to portray the feeling of optimism that sunflowers symbolize, always reaching for the sun. Even though it may be short, it still makes you think, doesn't it.

One poem that really struck me though, is even shorter. It was written by a Japanese, and I will try and translate it as best as I can.

せきをしてもひとり "Cough!" Still alone.

It might be too short for you to understand the message, but what I take from it is a very sad story. A man is in his silent house, he coughs, but there is no one to help him out, no one to say if he is OK, no one else but him in his misery. In a few words, the poet has given an example of a big human problem, loneliness.

Loneliness is a big issue for a lot of people. Many people might have lots of friends on Facebook, or at school, or at parties, but when they get home, do they have anyone who really cares for them?

I sometimes wish I had a friend I could talk to all the time, about any of my troubles, and that they would genuinely listen and care for me. This will always be a dream, because everyone has their own troubles they need to take care of, let alone their friends... Lucky I have God to talk to.

God won't leave me, or get annoyed at me for whining about life so much. God is suitably called the "wonderful counselor". That man in the short poem above, probably didn't have God in his life, which left a gaping hole. Nothing man made can ever fill that hole, except for God's love.

Thanks for reading my blog, and I hope you learn something new!


Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Talking about the untalked things...

I described to someone what my blog was about, and I said that it was "saying stuff that you usually wouldn't say in a conversation because it is either too long, too deep, or just off topic". Although when I started this blog I didn't really have a clue about what my blog should be about, except for it to be something that I could share my thoughts in. Now that I can define the contents of my blog, it feels like I am one step further to actually writing something interesting!

One thing that annoys me but which I never get to talk about is the meaningless worksheets that make you do hard choices. Remember? The one that said you where stranded on a sinking boat and only could take 5 people out of 20 people on the lifeboat. The 20 people usually consisted of a baby, disabled person, old person, and other people you didn't really want to leave to die, and yourself.

What I hate about this is first, the exercise itself. There is about 1 in a million chance I will be on a sinking ship, that only has enough space in the lifeboat for 5 people, and then probably we will all go on it anyway, because we all won't die. Just imagine 20 people quietly sitting on a sinking boat, about to go underwater any minute, and discussing quietly why we think each of us should survive. It's crazy!

Secondly is the concept of the exercise. The only thing I got out of that, was that everyone is selfish, because we all chose ourselves. What else did we learn? Nothing, it was pointless.

I still don't get why they do such stupid exercises. I hope I can ask the guy who invented it, why he thought it would be useful...

One thing for me that was good from doing the sheets was that it reminded me that I was on a sinking ship. This world is sinking, it will not last. Unless we get on a lifeboat we will not survive. Luckily, there is enough space for everybody. We just have to acknowledge that we need help, not to struggle under the powerful hands of the one who will save us, and let him take us away from the sinking ship.

I'll bet you that isn't something that you would hear in a conversation! Anyway, I am glad i can share my thoughts with you.

Thanks for reading my blog! treebytheriver

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Saying NO to advertising

Have you ever tried to say no to advertising? I mean on TV when someone is saying you should by that new car, or toy, or experience, or product.

I do it all the time, for two reasons.

The first is that it is very fun.
It keeps me occupied during the ads and makes fun of the actors who try so hard to persuade me to but their product! They failed this time...
It also makes fun of the companies who spend billions of dollars to get me to buy their product, and I just waste the money by saying No.
Some of you might say advertising still works, and just because I don't buy it, doesn't mean everyone else won't. That's true, but now I come to the second reason...

The second reason is because it lifts a huge weight of my shoulders. Watching ads on TV make you think that you need so much stuff in life to be satisfied. The whole aim of advertisements is to make you feel like you have a problem (such as not looking good), then providing a solution (a cool car, or new make up). What is really annoying is that usually you don't even actually have a problem, but they make you think you do...

Most people fall into buying something they don't need because they trust that the advertisers know about how they can fix their problems. But in reality, companies only want money, and don;t truly care for the well being of you! The only true provider of things we need in out life is God, and we don't have to pay for what he gives... Stop looking at the media, or other companies to help you in times of need. Remember, they are humans too, they probably have the same problem's as you! Only God, who is perfect, always knows better about what you need.

By saying No to advertising, you remind yourself that life is OK without a new product, and stops you from buying it. You remind yourself that you have someone else, God, who you can trust to provide you what you need. Next time if a handsome actor or actress says "Book a test drive now", or "Get it at a new store now", just say No!

It makes me feel good, why don't you try it...

Friday, 12 November 2010

Living in a suitcase

My recent craze is to try and fit as much as possible in the smallest amount of space.
I managed to pack for a 3 day camp in a tiny day pack, while others had hefty suitcases. I even managed to bring games, and tons of stuff to play when we got there.
Everyone looked at me like I was amazing, with my small bag and all.
Packing light is so much fun, and I think you should try it too.
But, this made me think, what about all the stuff I have at home?
Do I really need my ornaments, or mini lamp, or an amazing semi precious gemstone.
What if I sold these things, or gave them away to charity...
And next time, why don't I not buy that nice dog ornament, or opt out of paying more for a "precious memory reminder", and give it to church instead.
If I can live like that, it will be better. Less cleaning too!
I hope that next time, my memory will be enough without a "special ornament".
Thanks for reading my blog...
Follow me if you like it, and comment if you don't.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

I hate rain, but do I?

It's been raining throughout the week, and I am feeling quite depressed that I can't go outside. It seems to be permanently set on rain, or clouds with no sun coming through to enjoy, or to dry my clothes...

I could keep complaining about rain... It seems that no one wants water dumped on them when they don't want to. But about 2 years ago, wasn't everyone praying for rain?

Australia was in drought, there was low dam levels, and it seemed like Australia was doomed into turning into just a desert island. Everyone prayed to God for rain on a regularly basis, and thanked him when it came [even though in small amounts].

Zoom back into today's time. What happened to all those prayers? They were answered! NSW is now classified as not being in drought anymore! Hooray! I went on a hike into Western NSW, and I expected brown grass, and dead trees, but instead I was met with beautiful scenery of lush green grass, and strong lively trees.

It might not be connected but I always think that I am happy God is the one in control of my life, not me. It's so easy to get lost on the way to life, it is so good that God lets us look to him for guidance. Plus, he knows what I want better than I do! So why wouldn't I put trust into him for providing me with what I need.

I hope next time I pray for something, I might be patient for the answer, and be thankful for God that he is in control. I hope also that I can lean on him throughout my life, and remember that he always knows better.

Thanks for reading my blog. I usually write one new post each week, about something that is on my mind, so keep checking back for more.


Saturday, 23 October 2010

Gifts of the world

My mum's birthday was just recently and it was quite good because she said she didn't want any presents. In the end we pampered her by letting her soak in the bath with nice salts, I gave her a back-rub, we put a face-mask on her, and let her not cook for the day.

She was really happy by the end of the day, and looked like it was one of the best days of her life. Although she didn't have any real things the next day to play with, or read, she still had the memories of what happened, and enjoyed that.

Before, I would have been sad if I didn't get any "real" presents, but now I am rethinking...

Anyway, real presents, what are they worth? A book I will read, and probably forget about soon, but a party, or a nice day will probably stay with me for longer... A book costs $20, but how can you express the price of memories?

A lot of people might agree with this idea of priceless memories but could you go deeper than that?

When you get older, don't memories expire too? I feel so sorry for a grandparent who doesn't remember her son's face. So even memories don't last the test of time. Then what does?

To me, that is heaven. God promises that Heaven will go on for eternity, and when we get there, we will also be there for eternity. This gives me so much hope, that I do have something that I can cling onto in this disappearing world.

Today, I learnt that although worldly things will pass away, God, and Heaven will last forever, giving hope to me during tough times.

Thanks for reading my blog, and please comment if you would like to ask a question, or just say something.


Monday, 18 October 2010

Ideas that don't exist yet

Thanks for reading my blog.

Here are some ideas I thought I could pull off but I am too lazy. If you want to do them feel free to. I would love to buy or see the new thing!

1. A website called what consumers want.
Where consumers could give ideas to companies on how to do better. If lots of people saw what people were thinking then they could also push that idea to the company. Many voices becoming one, till the company put it into effects.

2. An umbrella that covers all sides.
I hate when it is raining. Because whatever i do with my umbrella I still get wet. Rain comes from an angle, my bag is sticking out, it reflects of the ground. To prevent this, a umbrella with dangling down sides would stop the rain coming from an angle, and protect any sticking out things! Like a bag. I would definitely buy this umbrella.

I especially hope No.1 comes into effect. Whoever makes it will make lots of money!!!

Thanks for reading my blog.


Respectful relationships

Today, in Health class we were discussing what a healthy relationship is made up of. I said that for a relationship to work, everyone involved should not be selfish, and think of the other person first. As soon as I said this, every kid in the room laughed, as though I was imagining things. They said that is just old fashioned, and a stupid thought. To me what was essential in a relationship, to others was something that didn't matter! Has the relationship rules changed in the last few years?

Meet Ab & Ba. They are flatmates and friends. Ab goes into emotional breakdown for a week, and Ba helps him out, as that is what he would've wanted Ab to do to him. Next month, Ba goes into an emotional breakdown. To return the favor, Ab helps him out. It might seem like a nice relationship, with both supporting each other, but looking deeply, there is only selfish motives. There is no love. This is kind of sad. Probably, their friendship will fall apart, as Ab or Ba ask or more help than they are giving.

I can't just point out what is a bad relationship, what about a good one. Well, to put it perfectly, we all should follow God's example, which Jesus tells us. He says "Love our neighbor". He doesn't state why, he doesn't give a reason, but just to love. Love is what is important in a relationship. Through love, it will grow, and become stronger. It will be what relationships were meant to be.

Meet the changed Ab and Ba. They now know that the way they were acting with each other was wrong, and that were being selfish. Now, they don't have a motive to help, they just do. They don't have a selfish heart, they think of their friend first. However, human relationships will never be perfect. Ab and Ba had differences. They thought different on politics, TV shows, who should do the dishes, and all other things. What matters, is that they both still thought of each other.

Just to wrap up, I hope you have love in your relationships now, and that you could keep thinking of others, and not yourself.

Thanks for reading this post. Please comment on any issues you think of, or just want me to talk about.


Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Reply to comments...

Thanks for reading my blog. Since I got a reply, I better respond! (Check the grandparent post October 1st for the question)

Grandparents hidden away in retirement villages...

I think Grandparents are not necessarily hidden away in retirement villages, but more like the whole of retirement villages are hidden away from everyone. Until my grandparents went to a retirement village, I didn't notice any around, but now, in nooks and crannies I can see their are retirement villages. They are just not visible to those who are not looking for them.

I think it would be good if there was a retirement village right near a school, so to make it natural for people to meet grandparents. They are part of the family, and love talking to people. Then they could also help with some school activities like gardening, or library. It will be a good way of giving back to the community which supports them.

Grandparents aren't something you would want to hide. With their amazing experience they are a joy to meet, in any part of town.

About grandparents becoming parents again as both real parents have to work...

I think this is quite sad, although it might be the fact that the grandparents enjoy taking care of their grandchildren everyday. Taking care of kids might be a hassle, but it is another blessing that God has given us, and we should enjoy it.

In the end, Grandparents are really a blessing from God, with their wisdom, and help.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

I am a tightwad

Being a tightwad (person who doesn't spend money) is really annoying.

I love reading junk mail (I call it window shopping without the walking), and in about every leaflet I find someone that I really want to buy. iPod touch, DSLR Camera, even just a cheap book, or CD, or anything! Never going to the shops unless I actually needed something, I would have a period of time just mulling over the things I would do with my new purchase. After a while though, it would begin to seem not that special, I would see some faults in the product, or just get bored of thinking about it. In the end, I eventually give up on putting it on my shopping list and go without.

Even when I do actually buy something it takes me ages, as when I bought my compact digital camera. From when I said I wanted to buy one, to actually buying one, took me about 2 years! Not because I was saving money, but because every single junk mail would advertise a newer, better camera, so I just waited. I wanted my camera to be the best value for money. In the end, it took me one hour to actually buy the camera, only going to one store. Since I already knew what I was looking for, I just went to the counter and bought it. However, even when I was handed my new camera, I felt sick that I spent so much money. Will I like it, will it work, will it be good? Tons of questions went through my head, and I didn't even get to enjoy the euphoria of a good purchase some people feel much anyway. In the end I rented out my camera to my family members for cash, so it didn't really cost me anything anyway! Plus, my camera of 4 years now, outlasted my two sister's cameras that they bought later! I did make a good choice after all!

Reading this, you might think that I am just a person like any one else who doesn't want to spend money. But looking at my school mates, what they do with their money is, spend on snacks, spend on other fun, and spend on other things. Occasionally, they will save up for something that they want, and then buy it, but other than that there is no saving! On the other hand, what I do with my money is usually always save! I don't even think of what I am saving up for, but it is the only alternative to not spending! Lucky I did save in the end, because I had a bike crash and my bike needed major repairs, which took about half my savings.

One lesson I am learning from this little personality trait of mine is that, in the end money will dissapear when I die. No point in saving it! I keep on challenging myself to give more to church, because that is something that will benefit people.

Thanks for reading this blog, and if you wnat my opinion on anything just comment.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Bored? Then read this...

I love the holidays. They give you time to relax and to not think about school or work for awhile.
But soon you get bored of sitting around doing nothing, and want some outing.
But, outings usually cost money, or you need to be organized, so they get annoying too.
I have tons of times when I just want to do something other than my computer, get up, and do something on my own, to get me out of my boredom.
Here are some suggestions.

- If you have time make a website, or a blog. Its fun!
- Climb up a tree! Look at the world. Scare your siblings when they go under you.
- Read books! They make you smarter, and get you out of boredom for a few hours!
- Write a long email to someone you haven't met in a while. Hope that they will write back!
- If you have a dirty room, clean it! It feels good to relax in a nice, clean room, and it takes a while!
- Try and get lost around your neighborhood and then walk back home. Make sure you carry a phone just in case though!
- Write a short story on a random topic
- Take some artistic photos. Try and be creative!
- Make up an exercise routine and stick with it!

These are all things that I have personally done throughout my holidays, so I don't get bored as much.

If you still couldn't think of something to do, at least you wasted some time reading this post! Check out my other website for some tutorials to do, which only need paper! www.treebytheriver.co.cc

Friday, 1 October 2010

Thoughts on Grandparents

I visited my grandparents today. It was really fun, and they were really interested in what was going on in my life. They were really watching over me, and cared about what happened to me. It was really encouraging.

I know it might be childish, but here is an acrostic poem to my grandparents, and any other grandparents. I do give you permission to send it to your grandparents too.

Generously giving time and effort to make me grow.
Reaching out when I am about to fall.
Amazing knowledge
Never ending praise
Different perspectives on everything
Proud of all my achievements
Apple pie, and custard that is the best in the world
Reading all my assignments even if they are a bore
Ever-ready advice in any situation
Noting down everywhere I go
Thank you for being there for me
See you later!

Hope you liked it!

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

My first post!

Thanks for reading my blog.

I started a blog before once, but it didn't feel like I was saying what I wanted to say, it was more just to please any readers i had, but this blog is different. I hope I can write my ideas or thoughts without hesitation. 

I was looking at my student bible, and there was an article about how much Peter changed to actually fit the nickname Jesus gave him. The rock. At the end of it said to think about what nickname you might have. I started wondering what I am am good at, and how it would be fit for God's service. It felt like other people were better in any skill that I thought I could do. I play guitar, but my friend can "really" play guitar. He is so good! I speak Japanese and English. I know someone who speaks Japanese, English, and German! All fluently! I felt so down hearted to think I wasn't actually good at anything...

It was interesting because after awhile I thought about my own name. My parents named me after a tree, from Psalm 1. A tree that has firm roots in the living water of God's word. It felt like that was a perfect nickname for me, even though it was my real name. I hope I do stay strong in God's word, and depend on him entirely through my life. In the end however bad I think I am, God loves me, and that is what is the best thing.

This blog was meant for me to express what was on my mind, so that others could think about them too. Thanks again for reading!