Tuesday, September 27

I'm Back

Not that i'd ever gone anywere but you konw the whole not blogging thing...it sort of makes me feel like i'm returning home afetr a long holiday and i just cant wait to sleep in my own bed.
talk ing about bed it's around about 11:46.48 no, 49 no, 50, any way it's about then and 'im just finishing of backing up my CDs to other CDs sothat i can put my CDs away and just listen to CDs.
i guess i should fill you in on how i've been going and stuff hey? ok then since you asked so nicely...
i have been quite well since my last blog in june.i am currently getting over a case of the Flu-meets-viral rash-meets- hacking cough by way of multivitamin pills and other semi -prescription drugs. i feel about 80%.
i have a "new" job **only "new" because it isn't really new anymore** i'm now working part time at Dome coffees in cottesloe claremont and nedlands all of which are managed by the same guy so they're not fighting over me. officially i'm emplyed there as a Barista but i think i'm just the resident all Rounder. it's mostly really fun byt there are a few down moments namely 6:15am starts which are a killer given that i live 30 minutes drive away! but on that side of life, life is good.
Spiritually i'm still just plodding along. i honestly am feeling a bit weary, as much as it pains me to say it. i havent seen a mountaintop in a long time and am beginning to feel the accompanying despair. one thing i know, though and this one thing i hold onto. and that is the assurance that despite where i am god has never left me. he's right here holding my hand and i know that nothing i go throughis beyond me and there is nowhere that i fall that he isnt there to pick me up.
small things encourage me. something that someone wrote in a letter which my pastor read out in church recently really stood out. CONDEMNED to GRACE.as i have thought about this thought over the past few days it's beauty has struck me hard. How many times have we heard from the pulpit and from our own mouths that Christians are free from condemnation? let me ask you, Are you free from His Grace? Or do you find your feet running into it's wounded arms at your first indisceretion? since you pledged your life for Christ, ahve you never returned to his feet for forgiveness? or do you find that you are there numerous times every day. this is what 'im trying to say. Unbelievers are condemned. Believers are condemned. unbelievers are condemned by their sin to eternity in the fires of hell. Believers are condemned by their love to the Grace of God and eternity with him. Does god's love extend even to me? does his Grace reach as far away from him as i am? yes. if grace is not for sinners then for Who? if love not for the unlovely the what good is it? on the other hand if unjustice is not brought to account then where is the power in righteousness? unjustice has been brought to acount. love is for the unlovely, and grace is for sinners. jesus himself said " it is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick."

no-one is good enough--not even one! For all sin and fall short of god's Standard. like we get paid money for working, our payment for sinning is death! BUT the FREE gift of god is eternal life through Jesus Christ. there is no amount of good deeds that we can accomplish and no karma that we can accrue that will get us eternal life. in fact the way to eternal life is far simpler than working for it. you see God showed his immense love for us in what seems like a wierd way, he sent his only son, Jesus to live a life like ours and die a death far worse as a substitute for us. so instead of us having to die, Jesus did. istead of us having to pay the price for our sin,HE DID!! all that we have to do is believe it, and ask for God's forgiveness for contuing to live as we please and for turing a blind eye to his free gift.

if you decide that you want to make the choice to ask for god's forgiveness, then all you have to do is say something like this to him: God, I know that I am a sinner. I know that I deserve to go to Hell, but I also know that You died in my place, taking the punishment that I deserved. I now accept that free gift, the payment for my sins through Your shed blood. Save me from my sins, and take me to heaven. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen.

It really is that easy.

Friday, June 10

We Got Heart!!

Well state youth Games this year was AWESOME!! And by that i mean really good. First of all, can i say well done to the SYG organising committee for a fantastic weekend, and thank you. Also good on you Pulse the team and Pulse the organisers!

Binningup youth camp turned it on again for us as we blessed it with our presence. Not only did they give us NEW MATTRESES, but also Hot water and even a real log fire. The breakfast was great and although they were maybe not the best thing to start a full day of sport with, the CHEESE (thanks to Pulse for cutting it) and Ham Toasties Really hit the spot in the morning. THANKS Mr. VB.
I'd also like to thank those that were in my room for not snoring...or farting (too much)...or falling out of bed (the top bunk) five or six times a night. That is really appreciated. The sound of silence was deafening until we were awoken to the peaceful sounds of birds singing sweetly in the trees accompanying the BAGPIPES PLAYING IN OUR EARS TO WAKE US UP!!!!!! (thanks rob).

I'd like to say once again (just cant hear it enough) that Pulse is the Champion team for 2005! AND we did it without a YP!!
I actually told our senior pastor on the thusday before state youth that we would bring home the trophy! Now, I'm sure many of you said the same thing to someone. The only difference between you guys that said it and myself is that I didnt lie!!!! hehehehehehe.

If you want to see pics of state youth games, namely Pulse, then check out the flicr link and that will take you there.

Oh and for those of you not in Pulse, there's always next year, to join us so you can be on a winning team!! hehe (my head!! i can feel it Growing!!)

Friday, May 20

thornlie.youth UP ya DATE

thought i might give you an update on how things are going here.
STILL no youth pastor. but that's not stopping us. we've seen things returning to a little normality this term as our small group is getting back on track, Shane and i decided that we'd run through the small group curriculum by bobo boshers that has been sitting on our shelf for ages. also we have begun to run low-cost outings for our guys and chris and fadi's guys and that has seen them starting to actually come on tuesday nights now! before this term the max number of kids we had at SO? was four. on Tuesday just gone we had 10 and that's all of the guys that we used to have back last year. So we're getting excited.

our young dolts groups just keep chargin ahead our group (derek and jenny) keeps growing with the inclusion of dandy wolf and morta. matt mort is going to the pulse group. and the othere groups are still growing as well i think. WE HAVE THE BIGGEST SSTATE YOUTH GAMES TEAM this year!!!!! i think just under 100 ppl are comin with and kalamuda is next on like 87 or something. witties is right down in fourth i think. YAY GO US!!! all's crankin ahead in young dolts and things are winding up in SO? age groups (as opposed to winding down).

well that's thornlie.youth up till today. we have WATOTO coming here tonight and OH did anyone tell you that we now have three services again!! 9-10.15 (FAMILY SERVICE--same as always) 11-12 (CLASSIC SERVICE-- our "not just for oldies" oldies service,) and the CAFE SERVICE 6.30-8 same as always just better supper now with Gloria jeans coffee and anzac bikkies (gold coin donation) and they all have the same sermon. so we only have to go to one. unless we're really spiritual or sleepy in the morning and need the message aagain.

have fun and satay safe. yes satay safe

i feel naked...

i had a hair cut today, the mullet that had begun to make such a proud comeback is gone. chopped off at the roots...almost. i feel cold and naked. excuse me while i close my blinds and hide form the world for a while.

Saturday, April 9

where does this path lead?

tonight i read this passage and i note that it applies to the youth ministry that we dont currently have; it hurts no end to come to that realisation. Our youth ministry, no, God's youth ministry is being hi-jacked: God will forever be behind the wheel, but those leaders that claim to be travelling along with him keep taking over the controls! what is the result? god will take back the controls and get his plan back on track. he will remove the leaders from ministry that have hijacked his plans and he will search out those who stay faithful to his word and to HIM. this could be anyone. we must not think that because we are not in ministry or are no longer in a ministry that God no longer has a use for us. there is one way that we can get back to god's plan for his minstries and that's to get back to god's plans for us and for where he wants us. to repent of where we have been and to turn to him. that's how his ministries work; with people who are devoted to god's plans and let go of what they want for themselves.

Joel 1
1 The word of the LORD that came to Joel son of Pethuel.

An Invasion of Locusts
2 Hear this, you elders;listen, all who live in the land. Has anything like this ever happened in your days or in the days of your forefathers? 3 Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation. 4 What the locust swarm has left the great locusts have eaten; what the great locusts have left the young locusts have eaten; what the young locusts have left other locusts [a] have eaten.

5 Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips. 6 A nation has invaded my land, powerful and without number; it has the teeth of a lion, the fangs of a lioness. 7 It has laid waste my vines and ruined my fig trees. It has stripped off their bark and thrown it away, leaving their branches white.

8 Mourn like a virgin [b] in sackcloth grieving for the husband [c] of her youth. 9 Grain offerings and drink offerings are cut off from the house of the LORD. The priests are in mourning, those who minister before the LORD . 10 The fields are ruined, the ground is dried up [d] ; the grain is destroyed, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails. 11 Despair, you farmers, wail, you vine growers; grieve for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field is destroyed. 12 The vine is dried up and the fig tree is withered; the pomegranate, the palm and the apple tree- all the trees of the field-are dried up. Surely the joy of mankind is withered away.

A Call to Repentance
13 Put on sackcloth, O priests, and mourn; wail, you who minister before the altar. Come, spend the night in sackcloth, you who minister before my God; for the grain offerings and drink offerings are withheld from the house of your God. 14 Declare a holy fast; call a sacred assembly. Summon the elders and all who live in the land to the house of the LORD your God, and cry out to the LORD .

15 Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty. [e]

16 Has not the food been cut off before our very eyes- joy and gladness from the house of our God? 17 The seeds are shriveled beneath the clods. [f] The storehouses are in ruins, the granaries have been broken down, for the grain has dried up. 18 How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep are suffering.

19 To you, O LORD , I call, for fire has devoured the open pastures and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. 20 Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures.

(2:12) That is why the lord says, "turn to me now, while there is still time! Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping and mourning. 13 Dont tear your clothing in your grief; instead tear your hearts." Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful. He is not easily angered. he is filled with kindness and is eager not to punish you. 14 Who knows? Perhaps even yet he will give you a reprieve, sending you a blessing instead of [a] terrible curse. perhaps

Tuesday, January 18

All the Advice you'll ever need.

this post comes to you courtesy of a guy called Peter and the numbers 5 and 5-7. a bit of background: god revealed this verse to me, when i think back now, at a really cruicial time in my life. the time was near to when i was coming to the end of my schooling and was starting to think about what career path i might take. it is true to say that this verse though i didnt know anything of it at the time, has hugely shaped me and caused me to be where i am today--a missionary to my home town of perth through my job at adenture world and through my ministry at thornlie senior high and as a part of the thornlie.youth leadership team. the vers goes like this.
You younger men, accept the authority of the elders. And all of you serve each other in humility, for "God sets Himself against the proud, but he shows favour to the humble." so humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in His good time, he will honour you. Give al your cares and worries to God for He cares about what happens to you.

"You younger men, accept the authority of the elders."
here's what that verse means for you christians out there. God, in His wisdom, has placed as leaders of your church, "elders," or the leadership. they are there to guide the church in the direction that god is leading them. to do this they ensure they are in close relationship with god and they are always seeking god's will for the people that they lead. now as you will probably know if you have been a christian for a while, or if you have just stuggled like the rest of us, that the will of God is'nt always the easiest thing for you or the thing that you will want to do most. the same goes for His church. the elders of your church are put there by god because they are the ones who are able to make the hard calls when god's will seems hard. you,whether you be young, or just as someone whom god has not appointed to be an elder or in leadership, are commanded by god to humble yourself under these leaders. if you think they have made teh wrong decision on a particular issue, then it is not your job to change their minds, it isnt your job to lead or participate in the rebellion against the feinds. it is your role as a follower of the god you call God, to follow His appointed leaders. for those of you who dont like change for the sake of tradition, remember that change is tradition too.

And all of you serve each other in humility, for "God sets Himself against the proud, but he shows favour to the humble."
for the Christian: You may think at this piont that this verse is self-explanatory. it is'nt so much as you think. you see when i came upon this verse i thought the same as you. i thougth that to serve was to be humble, that they were essentially inseparable. but they are not. i do not remen=mber exactly when but it dawned on me that i could be serving for all the wrong reasons. i could be down at the hall every night helping out with anything i could, all for 1) attention, and 2) praise. this shows no humility whatsoever and instead of God recieveing the glory, i would snatch it from him. YOU CAN SERVE WITHOUT AN OUNCE OF HUMILITY, BUT YOU CANNOT HAVE HUMILITY AND NOT BUST OUT OF YOUR SKIN TO SERVE. God is call ing us to serve in humility. this means forgetting who gets the glory or the praise, it means directing any praise given to you, to god and taking your satisfaction from the fact that god was glorified. you may find that interesting things start happening when you humble yourself. God's word says that He shows favour to the humble, but sets himself against the proud. what this will mean for you as you begin to humble yourself is that you will be blessed by god in the way that is most applicable to you ( remember that god knows you better than you know yourself). do not forget that this willall happen in God's time. you cannot put your own deadlines on Gods timing.

Give al your cares and worries to God for He cares about what happens to you.
to everyone, this is a command that most of us find almost impossible. to give all our worries and cares to god would take all day for some people. for some people it would tke no time at all, because they are relying on themselves to get through and have convinced themselves that they dont have any worries or cares or they feel that real people can or should handle their own problems. What a LIE of the devil!! The only Real person in history, was daily taking his problems, worries and concerns to God because he knew that 1 God Cares and 2 that he can handle it. anything that you can throw at god, he can take, because he is the Creator. he created you and he , like i've already said, knows you better than you know yourself. nothing you could say can surprise him, shock him, he's heard it before and he knows the solution if you're only willing to listen to his answer. like i said earlier, it might not be something that is easy or that you necessarily want to do, but it is the perfect solution for you. Giving your worries and cares to god takes a Lot of humility. it takes admitting that you cant control your own life, that god does have control and that you will go god's way. god cares about what happens to you. he doesnt want anything bad to ever happen to AnYONE but because we live in a fallen world, things do happen that he doesnt want. often things happen to us or to those close to us because god is trying to get our attention. he's saying Hey! look at me! look at how i hurt whe =n you do look at my perfect plan for you! look at me! when you look to god for help, you wont be dissappointed--ever. call out his name. tell him your worries and problems and just watch him melt. feel his love, acceptance, grace, mercy, loyalty, faithfulness, you cant do anything that will make him turn his face. his eye is on you like a dad delighting in the first steps of his son or daughter.

any typos will be fixed up later. i'm going to bed.

Sunday, January 16

All the goss on the love of my life.

well as you can see i havent posted for a while. i can explain. my life consists of two things at the moment: #1 work. i work at a theme park called Adventure world as mentioned previously and as here in australia and the rest of the southern hemsphere we are experiencing the hieght of summer, i dont get too much time to myself. let me clarify further. theme park+waterslides and pools+height of summer= thousands of people trying to use the waterslides and pools= thousands of hungry people=very busy restaurants and cafes=very busy me. my typical day goes like this. 6.30 get up. 8.30 start work. 7.30 get home>collapse. 11.00 bed. rinse and repeat 9 days straight. you can see that my day is full and my time for blogging is short.

the other thing that my life consists of at the moment is furthering my relationship with my Saviour and best friend, God. though this takes the back seat occasionally because of my lack of discipline, it is my life's work. it will never be accomplished until i meet him face to face, and it will never be perfect. i go outside the lines a bit too much but He steadys me and brings me back to safety. i love Him. he is the place that i can run to for safety he is the one i can turn to in trouble and he is the one who loves me more than i do. he created me he breathed life into me... twice! once at birth, and once when he saved me from eternal death. i killed him once or twice or a trillion times but who's counting? not him because i know that his love for me is big enough for my fumbling ways. his forgiveness gives me life.

god i love you. i dont think that i coul write this because words cant express. i love you and your patience with me. i love you and your compassion for me . i love you and the mercy that you bestow on me. i love you and the grace you give that i dont geserve. i love you and the way that you bring me back to the safe road. i love you and knowing that you love me too. i love you and helping others to see your love. i love you and the gifts that you've given me though i havent discovered tham all as yet. i love you and the knowledge that i can say that. i love you and the place that you've put me. ilove you and the family you gave me. i love you and the home you provided. i love you and the job that i have where i can proclaim your love. i love you, god, words cant express.

oh and if you're wondering where i got time to write this, look at what time of the morning i posted it. i should be in bed. i'm going now.

Saturday, January 15

life in a nutshell

A big Hi! to all you fellow bloggers, inquisitive others, and those that know me. I haven’t blogged for a long time and I am actually just trying to remember how to make this stuff actually work but here we go.

You will have noticed if you have read any of my previous blogs that I am a Christian and a proud one at that. Some have said that God has given me the gift of writing and, while this may be true, I do not find it to be the easiest thing in the world. I think the easiest thing in the world would have to be playing "Minesweeper" on custom mode with 100 squares and only 10 mines--but that's another story altogether. I don’t find writing the easiest thing in the world because it involves putting your thoughts and ideas, your life out there for all to see and judge as they feel is appropriate to them. If, however God has given me a knack for writing, then it would be sinful of me not to use it for its God-intended purpose--His glory. Now, given that my writing is for His glory, then I must be open and honest with you as readers. This is my journey over the past months.

You may or may not know about my struggles with trusting God. Actually I struggle more with the practical side of trust than the intellectual side. For example, I know that God has the perfect plan for relationships and my life, however I still find myself chasing after things that I know are not in His plan for me. I indulge these thoughts for longer than I know I should because I am not strong enough in my trust to let God do the thinking for me. What I mean to say is that I need to let his plan be sufficient for me and cease my attempts to go my own way. Often I am caught by God going my own way which is in fact the way that Satan paved. Recently, just in the last week I was well down that Satan-paved road. I had long ago passed the towns no the metropolises of wandering eyes and impure thoughts. And had come to a place that I knew all too well before I realized where the signposts were telling me the road was going. Satan has a way of blinding us to the signposts. Thanks go to God for taking my blindfold off. When you are in a place like the one I was in and am ever only a step away from, it becomes incredibly easy to think that God has given up on you and the tragedy is that many people believe it. Imagine for a second what the world would look like if God DID give up on everyone the first time that they stumbled! One word. Hell.

God says in his word the bible, "[I] will NEVER leave you..." (Deuteronomy 31:6, 8).
Now, you may not believe a word that the Bible says, you might think that it is all a pile of bull plop imagined by people thousands of years ago. If that's you then let me say from my experience and my life and my journey, that he has never left me, he has never let me down and believe me I’ve let him down!
God will never leave you. He will never let you down despite the number of time you let him down. He will never turn his back, block his ears, shut his mouth, withdraw his touch; he will never leave you. Why would He? You are his Creation. You are his treasure, his child, his pride and joy. You are what He's searching for, 24-7, he has been looking forward to the moment of your birth since infinity-past, he still looks forward to the moment that you take his hand for the first time in trust. He loves you more than anything and wants only the very best for you. His one desire is that you love him back.
You may think right now that you are too far-gone for God to love you, that you just done too much wrong and that the best you can hope for is mediocre. Have you heard that Jesus, (God's son) died for you? Think about that just for a second-- God, infinite, all knowing, all powerful, created-the-universe, God, sends His son from Heaven to earth, to live with us, to help and heal us, to love us like we've never known, to be killed by us, all for us. If you were the only one on earth the whole earth was yours, then god would still have sent Jesus for you. He still would have loved you healed and helped you. You would have been the one to turn against him;
you would have been the one to hammer those nails through his wrists and feet. You would have killed him. But He would still have loved you, shown you grace and mercy. {Grace=being given something you don’t deserve--forgiveness and love, eternal life}{Mercy=not being given something that you do deserve--hell}. BUT...

The beauty of this story is that the story doesnt end when the Hero dies. Jesus didnt just die for you but he came back to life (a fact witnessed by over five hundred people) and lived for forty days before he ascended to Heaven. this is where your new life comes in. because Jesus died and then came back to life three days later, death's hold on humanity was and is still broken and, as a result of death having no hold on us and God's grace in allowing us to be forgiven we now have the opportunity to live forever.

Jesus is holding his hand out to you right now. In his hand are things so wonderful that words have not been invented that can describe them. They are things such as love that cannot be earned and cannot be stopped, forgiveness that is so unmerited and yet so free flowing, life that can only be given by the one who conquered it (who is also the one who created it) life that is blessed with the peace and security that cannot be found anywhere in the world, life that is never ending. All that he wants you to do is to take that hand and hold on tight. The ride will be hard at times, and you may fee like giving up. You may see the road that leads to hell and be seduced by it's "luxury" but hold onto that hand of god tightly and you will never come to harm.

If you choose not to take his hand now, then he will still be there right beside you gently urging you to. Let me tell you one thing though before you choose this road. You may think that you can get through this life without Jesus in your life and you can die at the end of your life and say "see I did it" but this life doesn’t last for eternity. It is only temporary. Heaven is eternal and hell is eternal. Here’s a hint choose heaven. Now. You might die tomorrow having never made this decision and wind up in hell.