Monday, 2 December 2013

The little blog that could

First and foremost, a very short summary of the last year in a poem. (Just to put some spice into an otherwise boring life story!)

My final year of high school flew past.
Exams, assignments, study before breakfast.
Captaincy, meetings, then friends and family
All the more relying on God's majesty.

Now I'm back into the blogosphere, I feel like there is so much I could talk about! This blog has become my diary, and I feel if I don't type up my experiences, I will forget them. Amongst the overload of things I want to write, in my head I'm just singing "Just keep writing, just keep writing" (to the tune of Dory's annoying "Just keep swimming" song in Finding Nemo). So here goes quick fire paragraphs to bring you and me up to speed.

First, the much hyped but anticlimactical Hay Stacking Competition. I studied a surprising amount, in the library, making unofficial study buddies through glances across desks to motivate me to continue burying my head in the books. I am glad I did though, because I had been praying that I would study, and that is what happened, so God lovingly lavishing his grace upon me once again. During the exam period (3 weeks! With a 9 day period in between two exams!) I felt supernaturally sustained, through the prayers of all those in my church family. I cannot thank them enough, and thank God for them too. I never felt more blessed to be part of my church, I felt bad ever wanting to leave. 

Second, once my last exam had finally came and gone, my brother, who had just finished his thesis for his degree at uni, and I, left on a roadtrip all the way down to the Great Ocean Road and back along the South Coast. My version of "schoolies", I guess. I loved it, because it gave me something to do, to drive, and I got to see more of the beauty of Australia, and began to understand some of its geography better too. In typical guy fashion, most of the relationship building was subtle, but we did have good conversations too, which was good. I even got to be on the radio, for about 1 second, until my phone reception cut out, (although some say I was deliberately hung up by the radio presenter for blabbering about nothing...)

Third, fixing up all my uni preferences, hopefully going to study Arts/Education at Sydney University to become a high school teacher. I had an interview for a teaching scholarship where the interviewer seemed more interested about my Dad and his mission to Japan than me, but God was in control and the interviewer ended up telling me that just like my Dad I seemed to have very strong convictions that would be great as a teacher, assuring me I'd probably be offered the scholarship, which is nice.

Fourth and finally (alliteration!), I am preparing myself for a conference and mission called National Training Event, which is run by the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students, an organisation that organised Uni Christian groups. I will be going all the way to Narribri in rural NSW after the conference with a Sydney Uni team to help preach the gospel there, running scripture seminars, helping with the church services, and talking to people in the main street. I hope to write a reflection either everyday, or an overall one at the end of the mission, so keep posted.

If you have read this far, good job! I think this post had become much more like a personal diary entry, nothing really interesting or deep, just a blabble about my own life. It may have inspired you to go out and do some more evangelism, if it did, praise God! You can tell me about it in the comments!

Anyway, to end, the title of this post is "The little blog that could" because I think even after a 6 month hiatus, I think this blog with God's help can still be an encouragement to me and others, so I hope to continue it as long as I am able. I am thinking of creating a manifesto or something for this blog too, to define its purpose once again as my life heads in a new direction, but as always, it is your comments and your readership that encourages me to keep going, so thank you!

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Creators or Consumers?

For a while I was pondering buying an iPad. The sleek design, the status symbol of the silver apple logo, the cool glass on your fingertips as you swipe your way through all kinds of apps. It was more than a want, it was a need, it felt like I would die without it.

But, I didn't get one. I was close, I went into the store with enough money in my pocket to buy one, but nothing ever eventuated. My 'need' was slowly surpassed by other 'needs' like a banjo or an ebook reader or a jazz guitar. 

My preparation for the purchase was huge. I looked at as many reviews I could find during my spare time, ranging from the "It will just be a dust magnet" to "It will flip your world upside down with its amazingness."

One review though was very interesting. It pointed out the difference between consuming information and creating it. It remarked that iPads were not meant to produce information, only to consume it. For instance, you could watch as many videos and read as many articles very comfortably on your iPad, but to go out and shoot film or to write stories, that was not what the iPad was designed for.

What about us humans? Are we designed to create or to consume?

In Ecclesiastes the writer makes this statement
There is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

Cynical as it is, it is true. When we "create" things, all we are actually doing is rearranging atoms around that were already there. We are in a spiral of never ending consumption. Fulfilling our wants and needs.

Only God, who created from nothing, can be called the creator. Whether we choose to ignore him or to live for him, everything on this earth is supplied by him. In his grace, we are given the oxygen to breathe, the muscles to move, the earth to nurture, and so much more.

Another crushing blow to my pride knowing that I have no more independence than a child, but my response is praise and thanks knowing that God is love and his grace is never ending.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Spot the difference

"Dear God,

I always put it on my heart to seek you first, and seek the kingdom of God, knowing that you will provide for me. You have so far, I am school captain, I am doing well at school, you have provided everything. But I still feel dissatisfied. I get pressured, I live in a society where everything is about want. More more more!

You give peace, please give me peace now, peace that I may not understand, but that comes from the fact that you are God, and I am not.

Help me to dispel my worries, help me to get rid of sin, help me to become more and more like your son. Help me WANT to become more like your son.

I give my life as a living sacrifice to you, knowing that you know me better than I know myself, and you will ensure my life is lived to its fullest, real fullness. of Godliness, holiness and all for the glory of you.

Thank you for your love. Thank you that you ARE love. Thank you that you showed this love in sending your son to die for us, so I can now pray to you like this now.

Let this prayer and my whole life be lived for your glory.

In Jesus name I pray,


"You're an idiot.
I'm busy, you're the one who is on holidays.
Get out of my room, go away, I don't want to help.

I love feeling important. I want that new TV. Why do they get more than me?

I just want to fit in, who cares about anything else. its just a joke!

I have to go (I just don't want to talk to you).

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Near-death experiences.

Reading Lamentations (I recommend it), and I was challenged by how glorious God is, and how sinful I am. But we are still called to be God's friend and are welcomed into heaven, his kingdom.

Jesus did some serious saving when he died on the cross. And like all human beings, I forget.

We share near death experiences. We can't wait to boast about the day we were poisoned, or the day we nearly suffocated in our sleep, or the time we nearly went on a roller coaster that crashed.

My closest near death experience is having such a bad cough I couldn't breathe. Not much, but I really thought I would die then.

But we we've all had near death experiences that are way more serious than that. We were "dead in our sins" (Eph 2:1). We followed Adam in eating the forbidden fruit, severing our relationship with the giver of life, effectively ending our life then and there.

You say you aren't dead yet? That's just God being merciful. 

But that's where it becomes a "near-death" experience. Because Jesus saves us from that death, he grafts us back into the tree of life, so we can live again, and never fear death again.

So next time you're asked that question, "What's your near-death experience", try sharing that, and see what others think.

God bless everyone!