Sunday, December 31

The Best Is Yet To Come...

Well another year has come and gone and I’m still here.... which I guess is a good thing. I am so privileged to be able to just put out my thoughts and let GOD use them to bless or challenge or encourage you guys as you read. It is an amazing blessing to me.
Talking about thoughts and blessing I think ill make my last post for the year a slight challenge for you.

!!rorrim a ni ti daer ot evah uoy os sdrawkcab ti etirw ll'i :D

No seriously, just thinking about blessing and being blessed reminds me of a thought that I was challenged with 2 or 3 years ago, and it has to do with being blessed to be a blessing. It’s a strange thought. To think that I will be blessed just by blessing you, is not something that comes easy to us but when you think about it, it makes a LOT of sense! You know that feeling that you get when you go out of your way to help someone?? You walk away felling uplifted and encouraged and BLESSED!! You don’t do it so that you'll be blessed, you don't do it because you think you'll get something out of it, but you do!! This is being blessed to be a blessing!!

Now, think about what would happen if the person you tried to help, to bless, didn’t accept your blessing! How would you feel? Would you get that feeling of upliftedness? Would you get the feeling that you had actually been useful and been used by GOD?
No.
You would most likely feel a little disappointed and confused. Why wouldn't they want me to bless them with this? What’s wrong with what I have to give? I was only trying to help!!

Can you see what the phrase blessed to be a blessing means? It means that sometimes, if you are the subject of the initial blessing, accepting that blessing is more important than you think! It could be that GOD will use the return blessing to speak to the person doing the initial blessing than he will to you!
Take this for an example.... say I wanted to bless my best mate, Shane. Now I’m not feeling the best about myself, but I’m thinking of him and how it will be such an encouragement to him for me to bless him in some way... so I do. I go out of my way to make him feel good, loved, encouraged at some cost to myself. And he accepts that blessing and thanks me for it. I walk away feeling good because I’ve just done 'a GOOD deed.' and then GOD begins to bless me. Where I once was feeling a little down and discouraged, GOD speaks. Where I was being attacked, GOD defends. Where I was sinking I am uplifted, simply because I was ready to be used by him to bless someone else!

This relates so well to what GOD did for is through Christ’s death on the cross.... THE ULTIMATE BLESSING!!GOD saw that we were sinking, that we were a little down (actually so far down that we couldn’t get back up by ourselves) and he thought, "These are my children, my FRIENDS, I want to bless them! I want to help them out of the pit, out of their trouble. I want them to feel the same way about themselves as I feel towards them! So at Great personal cost to himself, he sent the son to help us he put the son IN the pit so he could give us a boost up and out! (Now if you think about this, if Jesus is lifting everyone out of the pit, then who is going to lift him?! herein lies the cost.) Jesus chose the pit so that we could get out of it!
GOD is blessed when we accept his blessing on us! IMAGINE NOT accepting this blessing!!! imagine that you said to yourself, "no thanks Jesus, I’ll just keep jumping and hope that one day I’ll be able to jump high enough." you've forgotten that with every jump you get more and more tired, and your feet start to make impressions in the dirt, both of which make your goal harder to achieve! If you take Jesus' hand, then he will lift you out of that pit. Just like that. Just say to him, "hey, I, uh, I, I need you. I can’t do it. I’m trying, you can see that, I’m trying REALLY hard; I’m jumping as high as I can but... I just can’t. Will you help me? I need to apologise for not accepting your offer sooner, but something told me I could do it! Thanks for being here to help me out, I know that it means that you'll die here, but thanks. It means so much to Me." that's all you need to do! Have you done it? Why not? What are you waiting for? Are you looking for another way? There isn’t one. Are you thinking to yourself "he's wrong I’m just going to keep jumping and I’ll get out, I’ll work harder?" IT WON’T WORK! Just accept the blessing that GOD has offered you and let your life, the very fact that you ARE alive, bless him!!

For those of you who have taken up God’s offer of life, who will you bless? This coming year? Who will you allow to bless you by blessing them?

Take the challenge and see what happens (or maybe you wont see) when you accept the blessing that a friend (GOD included) bestows upon you!!

I’m glad that GOD ahs used me through this blogspot this year. There have been times when I have felt like what I have to offer is of no use and not important, but GOD is faithful to his promises. And I have been available to be used by him....

The best is yet to come!! A scary thought!
I pray GOD bless your new year!
Servant.

P.S. The bit you could'nt read near the top needs a mirror. Have fun! :D

Thursday, November 23

Silence: More Than Words

by Scott Lyons
11/22/2006

I am sitting across from my spiritual mentor. Today we are meeting to talk about silence, to discuss the importance given to the discipline within the church throughout its history.

"There is irony here," I say, "Mystics and monks who go on and on about silence. It reminds me of Polonius, whom Shakespeare could only quiet by having Hamlet run him through with his rapier, speaking the words, 'Brevity is the soul of wit.' "

"There is no irony," [my mentor] quietly assures me, smiling. And so we begin.

"Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord's feet, listening to what he taught. . . . 'There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her'" (Luke 10:39, 42).

I don't remember ever hearing a sermon about practicing quietness, about seeking out silence and shunning conversation. Our culture doesn't value it. And though I want to criticize my world for all its noise, its busyness, and its foolishness--I am Martha. And silence, my sister, is a stranger to me.

There is value in saying nothing, in stepping away from disagreements, in excusing ourselves from conversations. And to do so not because we wish to avoid conflict or because we pessimistically believe it will change nothing, but because we recognize in ourselves the wickedness of needing to be right, of wanting to be thought right, to be heard. So we become silent because we know that we lose something when we speak.

But I am a lover of words. If I stop speaking, I will be naked on this stage-bearing witness against myself before God. So I keep speaking, wildly hoping that what I want to be heard will be heard.

How do we walk away from words? I know it's not easy. But to be silent is to be known. And in the quietness there is forgiveness (because there is confession), peace, and strength. I am not asking anyone to become a Trappist monk. What I am asking is for us to try silence-just for a short period of time. Turn off your radio and head to the park near where you work. Sit quietly and eat your lunch. Turn off the TV one evening each week. Pray. Read. Pray some more. Learn to be familiar with the silence. Then, in time, if you are snapped at as you walk through the door, or if a barrage of little ones immediately crowd about you and pull at you, you will discover greater rest in your heart. The discipline of silence does not give us a place of mental detachment, but a soft blanket that we gently, caringly spread under our families.

I am tired of hiding behind the noise and the words, expecting to find rest where I have never found it before, tired of trying to avoid hearing a quiet voice say, "Where are you?"

Noise is just another fig leaf.

So I shut my mouth and let my pretense drop, shattering around me. I need to be here, at this moment, in silence. I need to be able to hear again. I am desperate for rest; I am desperate to be known.

"I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault." So come and sit with me. Sit with our sister, Mary. And let us listen to this Jesus.



Sunday, November 12

Blessed

I just finished reading an article in relevant magazine that really spoke to me and I know will speak to you too! It was about looking to the blessings in the now instead of ignoring them and looking for the blessings in the future.

Right now is an amazing time of blessing in my life. God has been speaking to me and directing me and leading me, but the blessing has come through following his directions. Imagine looking at a map book for directions, and not going where it says!! It makes no sense! Following his lead, though, hasn’t been easy. He has asked of me things that I have not wanted to do and I have asked things of him that he has declined to give. So there are times when I get discouraged. I get down, because I think to myself that I will never see the end of this, that I will always be in the dark waiting for the light, or more fittingly, that the light at the end of the tunnel seems to be moving at the same rate I am!
The article in relevant talked about a guy and his sons who every week played XBOX together from 2 till 4 on Saturdays and Sundays. They really enjoyed the time together, but he found that his sons were SO HANGING OUT for Saturday that the rest of the week was just an obstacle to get past so they could get to the weekend.

This is how I feel sometimes. There are things, amazing, and wonderful blessings, in my life that God has told me to wait for. So do I look at the time I have now, the waiting period, and use it to it's full? No I pine for the blessing. I WANT IT NOW; I don’t want to have to wait. The waiting period is hard! It's an obstacle that's hindering me from the blessing.

I DONT WANT TO PINE FOR THE BLESSING!! I want to be able to enjoy what I have now! I want to be able to look at what I DO have and not think to myself "One day this will be better" but I want to think to myself "how blessed I am be have what God has given! Surely it can’t get any better than this for this point in my life!"

I choose to look at what God has given me now, and grow it. I choose not to look at what I want and complain that I don’t have it but rather to look at what I have and thank God for it! Develop it and to nurture it.

Because God has given it and I am blessed.

Saturday, October 28

Term 4 Calendar


term 4 calendar, originally uploaded by Stunyard.

Saturday, October 21

My Prayer

Dear Father,
I honour you as Sovereign Lord. I acknowledge that you are always present with me. You are the only all powerful, and all wise God. You are kind and loving in ALL your ways. I LOVE you and I thank you that I am united with Christ and spiritually alive in him. I choose not to love the world, and I crucify my flesh and all its passions. I thank you for the life I now have in Christ, and I ask you to fill me with your holy spirit that I may live my life free from sin. I declare my dependance on you, and I take my STAND against Satan and all his lying ways knowing you standing beside me. I CHOOSE to believe the truth, and I REFUSE to be discouraged. You are the God of all hope, and I am confident that you will meet my needs as I seek to live according to your word. I express with confidence that I can live a responsible life through Christ who strengthens me. I now take my stand against Satan command him and all his evil spirits to depart from me. I put on the WHOLE armour of God. I submit my body as a living sacrifice and renew my mind by the living Word of God in order that I may prove that the will of God is good and acceptable and PERFECT. I ask these things in the precious name of my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. SO BE IT.

Wednesday, October 18

Home of the Open Heart - YWAM Thailand


2 min 59 sec - Aug 17, 2006
Thailand's Department of Public Health reports that per capita, Thailand has the most HIV/AIDs cases in the world. This translates into more than 14,000 AIDs orphans per year. Many of these will be HIV positive. Chiang Rai, one of the provinces worst hit by the Aids crisis, had no home for HIV positive babies. Project L.I.F.E. stepped in to meet that need with Baan Num Jai (Home of the Open Heart). Opened in December 2000, its heart purpose is to give HIV positive babies a loving home until their HIV status is determined. They also provide small group homes for babies who cannot be cared for by relatives. Home of the Open Heart is also committed to caring for HIV+ babies until they die. If a baby converts to HIV negative and is able to be adopted, Home of the Open Heart will release the child to have a family of their own! Our mission is to assist families affected by HIV/AIDs, through education, orphan care within the home and within the community, community visits leading to income-generation projects, and mother/child respite care.

If you want to know more about Baan Num Jai, please visit their website

Tuesday, October 17

Psalm 145


A psalm of praise of David.

1 I will exalt you, my God and King,
and praise your name forever and ever.
2 I will praise you every day;
yes, I will praise you forever.
3 Great is the LORD! He is most worthy of praise!
No one can measure his greatness.

4 Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
let them proclaim your power.
5 I will meditate* on your majestic, glorious splendor
and your wonderful miracles.
6 Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
I will proclaim your greatness.
7 Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
they will sing with joy about your righteousness.

8 The LORD is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 The LORD is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.
10 All of your works will thank you, LORD,
and your faithful followers will praise you.
11 They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;
they will give examples of your power.
12 They will tell about your mighty deeds
and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
You rule throughout all generations.

The LORD always keeps his promises;
he is gracious in all he does.*
14 The LORD helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
15 The eyes of all look to you in hope;
you give them their food as they need it.
16 When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
17 The LORD is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness.
18 The LORD is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.
19 He grants the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
20 The LORD protects all those who love him,
but he destroys the wicked.

21 I will praise the LORD,
and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
forever and ever.

Sunday, October 15

HARD.

Has God ever asked you to do something that you don’t want to do? Or required something of you that you weren’t sure how to give? This happened and has been happening to me recently.

There have been exciting things happening in my life recently, that have been an answer to years of prayer. I have been amazed at God's faithfulness through this time and have learned so much about him that I either didn’t know, or had forgotten, or had misunderstood. But I am coming to see that as the Matt Redman song says he gives and takes away! Now, I guess I’m blessed in that he isn’t actually taking away what he gave me but rather asking me to give it over to him and there is a difference!


I think about a kite. You know one of those ones with two strings so that you can make it do cool tricks and stuff. I got one of these for Christmas a number of years ago and it was one of the best presents I think I have ever got! But I didn’t automatically know straight away how to make it do all the things it could! I was no child KITING prodigy that's for sure! In fact I remember times when I struggled simply to keep the thing in the air let alone make it do tricks! What I needed was someone to show me how to work it. Someone like my dad. I remember that he would take me down to the park in Murray Bridge where we were holidaying with my Nanna and Grand-dad, and we would fly the kite and he would show me how to do stuff with it and then he would give it to me and I’d crash it! And so he'd show me again this time more slowly and with a little more clarity. Then he'd give it to me and I’d make it do what I wanted then crash it! So the next time, he'd take my hands in his and we'd do it together, his hands around mine, helping me to make the small movements needed to flip the kite over successfully and then flip it back! and eventually he'd let go, after I got the idea and he'd just stand and watch and advise me on the finer points of making kites do flips but he wouldn’t leave.

It’s in this analogy of teaching that I find a picture of God. there are things in life that he gives us for you enjoyment and simply to bless us but if at some point we fail to use what he's given us properly, he will take it away and teach us. Then he gives it back and lets us try again. Once again we blow it, we pull the string too hard or for too long and we become a tangled mess that's plummeting straight for the ground. So what does he do? He gives us another go showing us in a little more detail how to do it well. And he repeats the process until we are proficient enough for him to let go! Now fortunately for us after he has let go he doesn’t just walk away, and leave us, but he stays beside us forever giving us pointers and hints on to use the blessings he's given us "successfully."

But it's our decision whether we want to actually give it over to for him to teach us or to keep it and try to learn by ourselves! We may learn the basics in doing it by ourselves, but we will probably crash so many times in the process that by the time we have mastered one trick, we are bent and broken beyond recognition! If we give it over to him, while we REALLY want to enjoy it, and it will be hard to give it over, we will gain so much more enjoyment out of it in the long term because we know how to effectively use it! And this brings joy not only to US but also to him!!
God wants us to enjoy what he's given us!! he wants us to be able to use it and then bless others through it and though it WILL BE HARD the best way for this to happen is for us to give it back to him so he can teach us!

No where in the Bible does it say that life will be easier as a Christian! In fact to many things we are called to walk a HARDER road (matt 5:17-48)! But the comforting thing to know is that God is right here beside us, never leaving, always guiding, and always helping us up when we stumble.

Thursday, October 5

Now unto Him...

This is a post about worship. Worship that doesn’t hold back, that doesn’t talk about worshipping God, but actually worships him. I have been noticing recently, that many of the songs that are sung in church, especially the newer ones (the not-hymns), talk a lot ABOUT worshipping God, but don’t actually make the next step to saying how great he really is!! It’s about time that those people to whom God has given the talent of song writing, start to tell God what they think of him, HONESTLY with an once of vulnerability!! Now, I’m not gifted in song writing, but God has given me words. And so I am going to worship him with my words.
Firstly let me say that God is eternally faithful. He has never left me, he never will. I look back on my life and am amazed to see that God has been doing huge things in my life, preparing me for the future, in the times when I thought I was furthest from him!! In my darkest days of relationship with him when I wondered where he was and what he was doing that was more important than me, i have come to realize, he wasn't anywhere else, doing something more important, because there is nothing more important to him than me (and you)!! It wasn’t God that had gone anywhere, it was ME!! I’m reminded of the TRUTH found in the poem "Footprints."
One night a man had a dream.
He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the LORD.
Across the sky flashed scenes from his life.
For each scene he noticed two sets of
footprints in the sand: one belonging
to him, and the other to the LORD.

When the last scene of his life flashed before him,
he looked back at the footprints in the sand.
He noticed that many times along the path of
his life there was only one set of footprints.
He also noticed that it happened at the very
lowest and saddest times in his life.
This really bothered him and he
questioned the LORD about it:

"LORD, you said that once I decided to follow
you, you'd walk with me all the way.
But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life,
there is only one set of footprints.
I don't understand why when
I needed you most you would leave me."

The LORD replied:
"My son, my precious child,
I love you and I would never leave you.
During your times of trial and suffering,
when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I carried you."


I love this poem because even thought it's old and some might say a little too "Christian" I can relate to it so easily! I look back on the times when I have been struggling, and don’t know what's going on, and I see only one set of prints! And I think to myself, "GOD IS GOOD!!!"

Another thing that amazes me is God's grace!
Actually this doesn’t amaze me as much as it BLOWS MY MIND!! I still struggle to come to grips with the fact that God, the creator of the universe sent his Son to die in my place and I am the one who did the killing!! In fact I think it goes even further than that! God didn’t just say to the SON, "Off you go, do your thing," God created a body for his son! Just like he created us, he CREATED Jesus!! I was thinking about this a while ago and found it hard to get my head around! This was God’s Son, with whom he'd been in relationship for eternity, being sent to earth, to live by the laws of this earth, to die unfairly by the people of this earth, in order that the very people doing the killing would be able to spend eternity with him!! What’s more, Psalm 139 applies to Jesus too!! God poured all of his creativity and imagination into Jesus, creating for him a body like yours or mine, God designed Jesus TOO! Then Isaiah 53 describes what happened to Jesus body! God poured all his love into this particular creation, he watched with intent as he grew in the womb, he laughed and cried as Jesus experienced childhood he shared in Jesus' struggles and in his temptations, he was there to strengthen Jesus. God spent 33 years with Jesus, all so that he could take our sin to the cross! One of the hardest things for me to understand I guess is the depth of his grace! I’m sure you know what I’m talking about, I just cant understand (I KNOW, but don’t understand, cow jai mai?-you get it?) how God is able to allow me to come back to him after I’ve stumbled. How is it that God LOVES me THAT much that, despite my murdering his son at the first chance I got, he still wants me back? By his amazing grace. It’s one of those things that I’ll never fully understand I think. I mean, who could? But I don’t think that lack of understanding is a bad thing when it comes to God and his unendingness. If I fully understood God, then where would be the need for faith? Christianity’s focus would focus from that of faith in a God that can’t be seen, to how can we use this knowledge to create a God we CAN see!

Let me say "I LOVE God!!!!" I don’t know if you can say that or not, but he says that about you everyday! If you think that you're beyond God's love, YOURE NOT!! If you think that you don’t need God's love YOU DO!! I can’t say it enough!! GOD'S LOVE IS MIND BLOWING!! GOD'S FAITHFULNESS IS ETERNAL!! AND GOD'S GRACE IS AMAZING!!!

This post didn’t really turn out to be what I thought it would, but I know that if you are reading it and feeling that any of it relates to you, then God has used it for his kingdom. I wanted to worship God through this post and I think I have! It may not look like worship but anything that proclaims just how good HE is worship!!

How will you worship him today?

Ephesians 3

Paul's (and Servant's) Prayer for Spiritual Growth
14 When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,*15 the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.*16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong.18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.21 Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

Tuesday, September 19

Here i go Stealing Posts Again!

Paradox Jesus…

Jesus came into the world… that we may enter into heaven.

Jesus was born in the flesh… that we may be born of the Spirit.

Jesus was born of woman… that we may be born of God.

Jesus became the Son of Man… that we may become sons of God.

Jesus accepted poverty… that we may be made rich.

Jesus became a man of sorrows… that we may rejoice and be glad.

Jesus was made sin for us… that we might be made righteous.

Jesus was put to death… that we may have life.

Jesus was cursed… that we might be blessed.



i got this from my friend MATT's blog. please check him out he has good stuff to say

Sunday, September 17

The KING's PARK


So I got called in to work early this morning on my day off, and I went just for a couple of hours, but by the time I finished, it was too late to get to church, so I thought "I'll just go home and finish my paper work as early as I can, so that I can have a day off!" So I was driving home past Kings Park (those of you who are coming here for visits and visa's we'll have to punish it), not really in the mood to go up there and really more Interested In going home to start my day off!! Something in me said you should go up there and I'm like "nah, can’t be bothered" but as I thought that I thought to myself "I don’t feel like going, but something's telling me I should. So I think I should! I think its God!" So I went. I drove up the hill and found a car park over looking the Narrows and looking sort of towards home (I looked but couldn’t find mine :-D). I just sat in my car listening to the HILLSONG LONDON album (it's good you should punish It!!) and I was praying about stuff and thinking about how much God had spoken to me in the last few months and how he's blessed me SO much and I looked at the trees and how different each of them was from the next but how together they make up a beautiful picture and so I was blessed by God to think that he made each of these trees with such imagination and attention to detail and originality but how much more time he put into us who are created in his image!

So I prayed and looked and blessed and was blessed by God all from the comfort of my car for... I guess it may have been 20-30 minutes, until I felt God saying to me, "Get up and go for a walk." and I knew it was God straight away this time because I SO didn't feel like walking! But I did lock my car and went for a walk. Down the hill along the grassed bit I found an area I never new existed! It was this terraced area with walking paths along the terraces and it was filled with all sorts of native plants and bushes (which are looking STUNNING at the moment (Perth In spring! WOW)) So I walked down along the lowest terrace until I saw a bench seat sitting rather randomly under a big palm tree on the next level up with stairs going up to it! So I thought, well I didn’t really even have to think this time, by now I just knew God wanted me there, so I sat. And I began to pray much the same sort of stuff I'd been praying in the car and while walking, but at some point God said to me "How many times have you been in this park? 20? 50? 100? And you never knew this even existed! HOW MUCH MORE SO WITH ME!!! How many time's have we talked; have I talked? And there is still so much stuff that you don’t know!" this was such an awesome blessing to hear!

(post script)
There are two things that made this whole experience more exciting to be in that I'm sure it is for you to read:
1. I Heard God-- not that this is so amazing in itself but to hear him and recognise his voice I think is the amazing bit! I probably I hear his voice all the time and write it off as my own thoughts or just stupidity but God is always faithful and NEVER stupid!!
2. I Obeyed God-- again in itself, this isn’t so amazing. I have heard and obeyed before, but today I was able to obey with confidence and decisiveness and I know that this is why I was so blessed by my encounter with God walking in his creation, while walking in his creation.

I hate to think how I would have felt about my day if I did not sit with God in the garden.

Patiently Waiting

I know, I stole the title from No-Sacrifice Blog but it just fits! And besides what i have to say is a little different to what No-Sacrifice says!

i have been thinking about and praying for patience this week and god spoke to me on friday about what waiting patienty REALLY is. God said to me that waiting and patiently waiting are two different things!

"waiting," He said, "is not something that honours me; it is like a child whose mum has bought them a lolly pop but has told their kid that they can't have it yet, they have to wait till they get home. so the child thinks to itself, "MAYBE if i plead and annoy mum long enough, then she'll give me what she has for me!!" so the kid says, "Mum can i have it now?! mum can i have it NOW?! MUM can i have it NOW?! MUM can i HAVE it NOW?! MUM CAN I HAVE IT NOW?! MUM CAN I HAVE IT NOW?!" and eventually the mum get SO annoyed, that she said "THAT'S IT!! YOU CANT HAVE IT AT ALL NOW!" and the kid wonders why!!"

"No,"god says, "waiting isnt what honours me. PATIENT WAITING, however, taht is a different story! it is like a child whose mum has bought them a lolly pop but has told their kid that they can't have it yet, they have to wait till they get home. so the child thinks to itself, "Oh, ok then, well, I'd REALLY like it now, but if i can wait just a little bit longer, then when i get it it will seem nicer and i'll be happier for getting it! And mum wont be annoyed at ME for annoying HER!"

"God, I pray for PATIENCE."---YOUR Servant.

Saturday, September 9

... and Jebediahphat begat Epiphany... (Hez.6:7)

I’ve had an epiphany. It’s not one of those things that happen to me everyday, but today I had one. I am quite excited about my epiphany, because it's actually really freeing. Freeing in that I don’t have to think the way I did before I had my epiphany. I have a new thing to think about and a new thing to pray to my wonderful GOD to give me. so here's my epiphany>>> but before I do, for those who are vocabularily challenged, an epiphany is a bolt of lightning thought, one of those thoughts that you get one day while you're roti-ing or mundanely doing some other mundane task. It’s one of those thoughts that changes the way you think and the more you think of it the more your thinking changes. Oh, and Epiphany is not a name, and Jebediahphat was not his father and there is no book in the Bible abbreviated to Hez.!!

Ok so I guess you want to hear about my epiphany then. Well my epiphany is that for us to have the ability to truly trust god, he needs to first build into our lives, humility! I can’t believe it took me as long as it has to work out this simple truth! Of course god needs to build humility into our lives before we can trust him. I mean if I don’t have an amount of humility in my life, then I’m going to start thinking about what I want to do with my life!! Actually let me rephrase that>>> I'M going to start THINKING about what I want to do with MY life!!

You wonder to yourself "What's wrong with having my life planned out? It’s a good thing to do!" but I say that it's not your life!! And who plans and organises something that's not theirs anyway?

So let's get the facts out. My life is not my own. Your life is not your own, your life is not my own, my life is not your own. BUT my life is God's life, your life is God's life, our lives are God's lives. He made us, He loves us, He bought us with Jesus blood, so who are we to plan and prepare something that isn’t ours?

this poses a bit of a problem for us as humans because for the most part, we are the ones who live our lives, and we are the ones who make the decisions about what we do with the lives God has lent us! and i dont know about you but i can say for sure that i dont always make the right decision, or always have the right answer. but i know that my maker knows what i'm good for. he knows the road i should take, and he knows everything about me and my design right down to who i should marry and where i should live to best fit his purpose for my existence.

let me just take a moment to to illustrate my point about design with something REALLY simple. say i'm going to wash the dishes, and i need to fill the sink. the drain hole is circular, but i have a chioce of different shaped plugs. (there was too much choice at Bunnings and i coildnt decide). What do i do? do i select a random plug and hope taht it fits? or do i choose the one that looks like the closest fit to the circular drain hole? it's as simple as that! god wants to put us where we're most efective. just like a square plug wont fit in a round hole, so we wont fit if we arent where god wants us!and one more thing, we arent doing what we were designed for if we are still sitting on the bench and not in the hole.

so i want to be where i'm being used the most effectively. i want to be in the drain that god has chosen for me but to do that i have to let him take control of my life and to trust him with my purpose. and that's an easier thing to say than to do! i know of plenty of instances in "my own" life where i have taken control from god and tried to drive even though i couldnt even see over the wheel! ithought i could run my life better that god could i thought that my way was better and that. does this sound silly to you? it does to me! because to me it sound like i'm a 3yr old who thinks they can beat up thier dad!!

to be able to trust god with my life, i need to realise that 1 it's not my own and 2 that god does it better!! and this takes a certain amount of humility. so i give up my life to god. i give up control to god. i sat to him , "God, you do it better than me, so you can do it and i'll just do what i'm told."
so there you have it. my epiphany.

i cannot trust god to fulfill my purpose while i still think that i'm the one who controls my life.
Miracle AudioAdrenaline
I am free
for the first time
left my fears behind
in front of me is open sky
I'm taller than trees
I can see further than before
everything's different now
now that You've ruined my life
(chorus)
You took my dreams
and stole my schemes
and turned my life upside-down
You took my heart
stole every part
and made it a miracle
now I can sing, sing a new song
my burden's gone
you gave me all the words and melodies

and now I can be at Your feet
Your place for me
everything's beautiful
now that You've ruined my life
You took my dreams
and stole my schemes
and turned my life upside-down
You took my heart
stole every part
and made it a miracle
and I'm wide awake
and tonight I'm saved
in Your arms I'm singin' of
how You made me a miracle
I'm taller than trees
I can see further than before
everything's different now

Sunday, August 20

I Am A Beautiful Butterfly

Chrysalis is a stage of the metamorphic cycle of the caterpillar/butterfly. It's the stage of cocoon in which the caterpillar undergoes the amazing change from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly.
This weekend has been one of the most amazing | |'s of my life.
I was privileged to be asked to participate on a camp called Chrysalis that is aimed at hitting you where you're at. It's not a camp that you attend for adventure--that comes when you leave. It's not a camp that you attend to be constantly being entertained by "activities." Chrysalis is a camp you attend to see god move in your life. I went for this reason and was not disappointed!

Have you ever been invited to something that you know nothing or just the bare essentials about by a friend and agreed to go only because your friend believed that you should? I thank god for my Friend Aaron because without this man of God, I wouldn’t be able to type this short message bout the character of God.
Here is my TESTimony:
for those of you who know me, I’m a bit of a know-it-all--even if I know I don't. I like to have the answers to your questions. "Where does this come from?" "How does this work?" "What should I do in this aspect of my walk?" answering questions helps me to feel needed, helps me to fell like I have a purpose. And of course so as not to be a hypocrite, I had to know the answers to my own life too! I had to know where I am destined for the future, what was wrong with my life, how to fix it, why I felt this way, why someone felt that way about me. Everything that there was a question to I had to know the answer; despite whether I knew it when it was asked. Sometimes, this is a noble cause. What happens though when there's a question about my own life I don’t know the answer to? What do I do? The answer is simple really and quite obvious, I make it up!
here's some background for you:
recently on my trip to Thailand and in the weeks following I felt god lay upon my heart the desire to go and study a DTS wit a youth missions organisation called YWAM. Around the same time I was approached to possibly be the manager of a DOME cafe (A huge step towards my lifelong dream) and there is also the possibility of a position in youth ministry at my church. Knowing I couldn’t do all three especially since one is in Thailand, I accepted the manager's position, and told them that I was leaving in 5 months. Through all of this, I was praying and giving the decision over to god, but I think that I had handcuffed the outcome to me so that I got to decide in the end. I mean surely DTS is the right answer! It has to be, missions is God's heart for the world!! So I was going to Thailand. That was it. It was final. I had made my decision. I talked about it with my parents, and with my best friend, and I told my pastor. But in between my initial talk with my parent, and with my friends, I sort of forgot that God hadn’t stopped speaking. And when I heard him saying "SLOW DOWN RYAN, YOU'RE MOVING TOO FAST," my reaction was a mild version of get thee behind me Satan!!
God led me to a point where I could say confidently, "I'm not confident about this decision." Through Him speaking through friends and workmates I came to a spot where I didn’t feel His peace about this decision. So on Friday night I nailed it to the cross. I gave the decision back to God, saying I can't do this without your peace. And do you know what I felt??? Nothing. Nothing, at least until the next night. When we were asked to reflect on the night before.

In silence we reflected. In silence I was distracted. But once again I praise god for Aaron who came and rescued me. He listened to the spirit's leading, and asked me the most layered question in the world, "How you doing?" I assumed he wasn’t referring to my visible layer so I told him all that was going on--- I dint know the answer and I was scared and humbled and in a place that I didn’t want to be. I didn’t know if God wanted me to go to Thailand! What a scary thought!! This is something that is going to impact on my life so much between now and then and then forever after, and I don’t know the answer!!! [Remember how I said that I like to know the answers? well this was THE big one in my journey to date] God had hit me where it hurts. He’d humbled me in the area of my life that I take pride in, my knowledge. I was talking to Aaron and it hit me that I was no longer in control of my life, that my life was indeed God’s and that he had control. When I nailed the word Thailand to the cross, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. All I knew was that I didn’t quite fell right about it and that’s it!

I still don’t know if god wants me in Thailand. But I am no longer ill at ease. Why? Because if there is one difference between pre Chrysalis Ryan and post Chrysalis Ryan, it's that my life is back in God's Hands and he's never let anything slip!


Chrysalis is an amazing experience I hope I never forget! To all those in the Emmaus community THANK YOU! You have meant so much to us here at Perth Chrysalis.

I LOVE YOU ALL

FLY WITH CHRIST.

Monday, July 17

God Almighty!!

It's amazing how and where God works!!

I watched bruce almighty again tonight(for the 2nd or 3rd time)and was again amazed at the themes of Love and Grace (Grayce) and the searching heart that were built into it!! in fact I was so amazed I went searching for the source of these themes; the person involved who influenced the movie in such a profound way.

I came across this interview with TOM SHADYAC, the director, and thought you would like to read it.

Interview with TOM SHADYAC

Sunday, July 16

Who am I?

This week I was thinking about who I am and who I am not when it comes to my faith.
Who am I now that Christ is in me, and who was I or would I have been if Christ wasn’t in me.
I got to thinking about all the people I could have been, and all the things I could have been doing without Christ in my life and I came out the other side thanking god for who I am!!!
Imagine yourself without Christ: lies, profanity, abuse, hopeless, lost, searching, afraid, immorality, pride, slander ….I could go on.
Now think of how Christ has changed you life through his death, through taking your that old life to the ends of the earth and ditching it. LOVE FAITH HOPE.

Christ’s death didn’t just take away our sin, and he doesn’t stop forgiving the first time. Christ’s death, his resurrection and his ascendance changed life as we know it. We no longer have to worry about the future, we don’t have to pretend to be someone we’re not or do good works and hope that’s enough.
We are saved!! Christ has redeemed us from the curse of sin!! he has bought us back with his blood. and now we can look forward to all the blessings he has promised to his children.

As I was writing this I thought of a song that we used to sing in Sunday school and it says:

BORN AGAIN, BORN TO WIN,
I’M A CHILD OF THE MOST HIGH GOD
BORN AGAIN, BORN TO WIN,
I’M A CHILD OF THE KING

I’M A NEW CREATION,
IVE BEEN WASHED IN HIS BLOOD
HAD A TRANSFORMATION
NOW I’M LIVING IN THE POWER OF GOD!!

Friday, June 30

so there we were... but now we're here.

so we wer in chiang rai the last time i talked and i guess i should keep on filling you in on what i've been up to.

so on tuesday we sorta had a quiet day. we swam in the pool with all the crew and got a LITTLE burnt then in the arvo Will left, and tom left for bangkok at 7

wednesday was pretty warm. we went with shane to pack up his stuff at the the ywam base, which we got done relatively quickly i think due to camille helping him get organised. i stayed downstairs and burnt 20 cds of photos for shane to distribute among his crew. when we finished, Pi Jesse and Pi Uab picked us up and we went to lunch at apparently the best Kaoh soi (a type of soup) place in town. then back to the hotel for general chilling and a quick swim (dont want to get too burnt). i think for dinner i juat had something light, like fried rice or something.

we were up early again on thursday. apparently they dont believe in letting people sleep in! but it was cool because we went to the border of thailand and Myanmar for some shopping. the border is about 30mins drive (Jesse style) form chiang rai and the town that straddles the border is called Mae Sai. so in Maesai twe pull out our passports, and 250 baht (<$10) to crossthe border into Myanmar which is cool because now i've been to Three different countries!!

Myanmar is Opressive. as soon as you cross the border there are beggars and Vendors that perssure you to buy their cigarettes which is just a front for selling porn. but you just say no and keep walking. the market in myanmar's maesai was crazy, they sold Everythingfrom "brand name" electronics, to knives and bb guns, to clothes, to dvd's and cds. and cheap too. like 6 new dvd's for 400 baht (<$15)
so we purchased a bit and then went and ate lunch at a restaurant right on the river.
on the way back the the hotel to pack, we said goodbye to Kate and Pi eunice whch was hard for them because it was actually all over. no-one left to say bye to.but we made great friends with them and they wont be forgotten. PUNISH IT GUYS. so we packed and went tothe bus station to board our 11 hour bustrip that brought us to bangkok at 6.00 this morning.

the bus was great. we got VIP bus Tickets which got us better that airline seats except for the foot rests and airlin service. unfortunately we didnt get airline sleep. so i'm stinkin tired and i have a headache.but other than that good.

so you're up to date. we staying in the english school till sunday and fly out at around midday.

peace out
ryan

Wednesday, June 28

So, Here We Are...

So here we are in thailand, just punishing the blog so all my fam know i'm still alive.
i'm having a great time chillin in the chiang Rai hood. we got here on friday morning after a couple of days with very little sleep. it was awesome to see shano again even though he looks so much like a ywamer! his grad on friday arvo was cool but oh so hot!
we are staying in a resort right near the airport but i haven't once heard any planes which is good. we were the only ones there on friday and sat which was cool too because we had the pool all to ourselves!! early morning and late night swims are the order of the day, so we've been punishing the pool hard.

sunday we went to PiJesse and PiUab's home church which was, for all the DTS Crew, their last sunday together. we started with some worship and prayer led by Will, and we sang oneof the most touching and i know for some the most heart felt song i have heard in a long time. i will try to link to it later if i can find it. so we sang and prayed and then Steve (Beckingham) spoke a challenging sermon on Forgiveness.
after church we went to lunch then all trekked into town to say goodbye to a few of the DTS crew who were heading off on a bus back to bangkok and tehn we went to Swensson's ice creamery for some chocolate......icecream and other flavours too. photos will be on Flicr later.

on monday we travelled about 45 mins north up the Kok (Gok) river to a village for an elephant ride. we ate there, and chilled out for a while with the two massive Constricors and a monkey in a cage before-hand and then took the 20 minute elephant ride option which cost about 80 baht (<$3.50) each. i got as many photos as i could but i'll have to apologise for the quality. i never realised that elephant rides were so bumpy!
that night we went to dnner at the airport because Kim was leaving @ 8.00.


well i'm gonna have to leave it there for now i gotta go but stay tuned.
peace out.
love you fam.

Thursday, June 22

Thai Me up Before you Go Go.

yeah you read right! i'm off to thailand.
In exactly 11 hours my first international adventure starts when i board a plane to Brunei and from there board another plane to the land of the long white cloud. (or is that new zealand) either way i'm officially an accomplished jetsetter and i'm so excited.for those of you who dont know why i'm going to thailand, it's to go to my best mate shane's graduation. for those of you who Do know why i' going to thailand, it's to go to my best mate shane's graduation.

anyway i hope to blog while i'm over there so stay tuned and i'll keep you updated

Thursday, May 18

Who Am I Now?

I am currently in the process of reading Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and in one of the movements he starts off like this.

I was having lunch with a guy who was telling me about a struggle he'd been having for a while. He said he knew he was a sinner, and that he was fallen and that he would keep committing this one sin,and he knew he was going to keeo committing this one sin because he was a sinner and his nature was evil and there was nothing he could do about it because of what a sinner he was...

Do I have to go on?

I was so depressed I wanted to bang my head on the table. His question was basically why do I stuggle like this?

And all that was running through my head during his questions, was that his system was perfectly designed to achieve the results he was getting.

He's convinced he is a sinner, he's convinced he is going to sin, he has no hope against sin, he believes his basic nature is sin and then he wonders why he keeps sinning.

And what was so startling to me is that he said he had just become a Christian. It seemed to me that becoming a christian had given him all sorts of new things to feel guilty about. I wondered if becoming a Christian had made his life not better but actually worse.


Paul knew people like this too; people who found their Christianity to be a weight that they didn’t have before. They found the so called rules constricting not freeing, and they found themselves giving up the fight and resigning to the fact that God’s grace is never ending but easily abused.

Romans 6:1-4
Well then, should we keep sinning so that God can show us more and more forgiveness? Of Course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we became Christians and were baptized to become one with Jesus Christ, we died with him? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead, by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

You know, I have been guilty of abusing God’s grace. But as I come to realise who I am in Christ, I know that I am holy through his death and resurrection.

[Paul insists]in another letter that if we are having this new kind of transforming experiencs with Christ in which we are taking on a new identity, we are literally now a "new Creation."
I am being remade.
I am not who I was.
I am a new Creation.
I am "in Christ."
When God looks at me, God sees Christ, because I'm "in" Him.
God's view of me is Christ.
And Christ is perfect.
This is why Paul goes on to say "Therefore as God's Chosen people, holy, and dearly loved..."
Did you catch that word in the middle?
HOLY

In these passages, we're being told who we are, now.


Praise God.

Wednesday, March 22

Element Revisited.

I was reading an article in RELEVANT Magazine today which got me thinking about Element (our youth ministry’s old young adults worship night) and how we could re-do it with some major changes.

Let me try and Encapsulate for you just what the article was about. The author Cameron Conant was talking about community and how as Christians, though we are in community to some degree wherever we are, we are Westernised individuals and live apart from that community. Ben Irwin defines community as "People who are Experiencing Life Together."

You’ve all heard sermons before on the Acts 2 church and for those of you who belong to Thornlie, you know that this is the foundation on which we build our ministries. But how often do we meet to, "share meals with Great joy and Generosity?" We worship together regularly and we are taught together and we give tithes and offerings together but rarely do we have an opportunity to eat together, to share our lives with somebody other than our spouses, fiancĂ©es, and partners or close friends, and when we do we talk about non-important issues that will never draw us closer to God. Maybe this is because we think to ourselves, "Who else needs to know?" or maybe, “Who else even Cares what's been happening, or what I’m struggling with.” Have you ever thought that you might have something to say to someone that uplifts them, that encourages them or that they can really connect with or that they might have something to say to you? The dinner table is a perfect place to share what’s been going on in your life, what you're growing or going through and what God has spoken to you about recently. There are things in your life that others need to know for their own growth; granted this position is one of extreme vulnerability but God will use your experiences in others lives for their growth.

So I guess you're probably thinking to yourself "Good thoughts Stunners but we don’t have a forum at Thornlie for this kind of community." my idea is that we create such a forum. I’m thinking Friday or Saturday night or Wednesday on the off week, we get together for dinner at the church. We talk, we share our lives, and we worship through this. Then once we're finished we really tell God how highly we love him. We do whatever comes most naturally to worship God. We testify of God's love in our lives and we join together in community. not singling out one particular style of worship as better or even more accessible than another, not "fellowshipping" with "how are you?' but with "how are you and God?" not asking, "what have you been up to?" but asking "what has God been up to?" and not answering with, "I’m good" but I’m not so good and here's why," or, "I’m Great and Here's why."

I have had an epiphany about Element. The name Element is singular. It describes ONE aspect of worship, one way to Seek God and that is its flaw. God desires worship in all elements of our lives even our Friendships. Isn’t it time we started?

Monday, March 20

Praise Our Unfair GOD

Life’s unfair isn’t it? Doesn’t it always seem that those who deserve the least get the most and those that deserve the most get the cold shoulder? I’ve been reading through Job and it strikes me that He was a man who deserved the most and, for a time got the least. In fact he had the most and it was taken from him. Read through some of the psalms and you’ll read about unfairness, Ecclesiastes and Isaiah also talk about it. But I want to look at Isaiah this morning and remind you of the injustice that brought us here today.

Isaiah 53:2
2 My servant grew up in the Lord's presence like a tender green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. 3 He was despised and rejected--a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care. 4 Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows* that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! 5 But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! 6 All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God's paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of us all. 7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. 8 From prison and trial they led him away to his death. But who among the people realized that he was dying for their sins--that he was suffering their punishment? 9 He had done no wrong, and he never deceived anyone. But he was buried like a criminal; he was put in a rich man's grave. 10 But it was the Lord's good plan to crush him and fill him with grief. Yet when his life is made an offering for sin, he will have a multitude of children, many heirs. He will enjoy a long life, and the Lord's plan will prosper in his hands. 11 When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, he will be satisfied. And because of what he has experienced, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins. 12 I will give him the honours of one who is mighty and great, because he exposed himself to death. He was counted among those who were sinners. He bore the sins of many and interceded for sinners.


Jesus bore the greatest injustice of eternity He Died so we can live. So may you, when you feel hard done by, missed out, looked over, or ignored; when you feel like you’re taking someone else’s blame or punishment, may you remember your saviour, and praise God for his saving injustice.

Sunday, March 12

Victory

No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. 19When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. 20But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it.
21It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. 22I love God's law with all my heart. 23But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. 24Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin?[c] 25Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin.
1So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2For the power[a] of the life-giving Spirit has freed you[b] through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. 3The Law of Moses could not save us, because of our sinful nature. But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4He did this so that the requirement of the law would be fully accomplished for us[c] who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.


God is good.
How many of you have thoughts like “I’m gonna beat that habit,” or “that’s the last time I’m ever doing that.” And then despite all the conviction in the world and all the resolve that you can muster you find ourselves saying the same things a week later. Well apparently Paul had the same struggle. He talks about wanting to good but sinning anyway, and fighting against sin but still doing it. Isn’t this exactly what we face day to day? Somehow it feels comforting to know that Paul struggled in the same ways I do. In every day life we find ourselves fighting battles over things that we have the victory over through Jesus Christ’ death and resurrection.
Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. Though we can’t be right with God simply by trying to do good—which we fight to do anyway, He made a new way for us to be free from the bondage of sin, as Paul says “God destroyed sin's control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.” Through Christ’s sacrifice we have the victory. Sin has lost its power; death has lost its sting. We can now lean on Christ like never before. He is the only way that we can be saved. Satan’s plan is to keep us wallowing in our sin, it seems that like quicksand the harder we fight, the faster we sink. But god has thrown us a rope and it would do us good to grab it. We have the victory! We have God. And like a wise man once said—“If you flip to the back of the book we win.”

Wednesday, February 22

New Photos Are Up

Hey all just a quick one to say that i've put some more pics up. these ones include the storms on tuesday night (21-2-06). they're pretty cool if i do say so myself. check out the flicr link on the sideboard.

Peace out,
Stunners

Monday, February 6

Apparently "Worship" has a Box of which We Need to Think Outside

RE-POST


Over the past few months/year I've been thinking about what today's definition of worship has come to mean; looking especially at corporate worship and our mental concept of that being "The Worship Team" (Singers and Band), maybe the occasional (Token?) prayer, and nothing more. I have come to the point of questioning our methods of worship in this day and age and have begun looking at other ways to worship our Creator God. Some of the questions that have come up in my mind will be plastered on your screen as you read this. Please don't for a second think that I am trying to cause a mutiny in the local church as people read this. These are my thoughts and the solutions that I feel are appropriate and are not to be taken as gospel in any way.

When did worship leading become solely the domain of the talented, good-looking musician and/or singer? And why have we allowed ourselves even as well-meaning, mature Christians to put worship into these boxes? Why have prayer and solitude, meditation, reflection, symbolism, the arts, relationship, and all the other legitimate elements that go together to make up Biblical styles of worship been labeled as Alternative Worship or left by the wayside to allow room for a style of worship that makes us feel comfortable in our seats? Why have we allowed worship to become something we do to attain some spiritual high when worship was designed and intended for Gods pleasure first and ours as a response to giving God pleasure?
I don't have all the answers to these questions, but I can quite confidently say that the direction in which we are headed is away from God's original intent for worship not towards it. I believe that there are some powers at work in this world, trying very hard to draw us down a road of comfort in worship.
When Jesus was worshipping The Father through His preaching, He wasn't setting out to make everyone feel comfortable with his words, and his style was less than conventional e.g. 5000 people sitting on a hill at night in the desert while Jesus preached! When those same people who sat and listened to Jesus preach offered their sacrifices as their act of worship I'm sure that that wasn't a comfortable experience either. The giving away of something that they had carefully looked after to ensure it's cleanliness to be killed and burned as a sacrifice hardly makes my stomach feel as comfortable as does going to a worship service! Take into account that many of the families offering these sacrifices were poorer than most bible college students, and that makes me even more uncomfortable! We have to counter this move towards comfortable worship by choosing to move out of the mindset that singing songs is the only way to corporately worship our infinite God. It is for our comfort that we choose "worship music" to play in church, and this, I believe, is how we acquired a bullet in our foot. Our young people, and indeed our adults, are growing up in the belief that United Live or Planet Shakers=Worship and this is only maybe 10% of the truth! I'm not saying that we shouldn't sing "Shakers" or "United" in worship, but lets at least make a wholehearted attempt at changing our nation's mindset on worship and allow them to improve their relationship with God because they're worshipping in with their whole being, and doing it in spirit and in truth.

We need to get back to grass roots worship, back to Acts 2 worship, where/when they were in AWE of what God was doing and were bursting to do something about it. Our heart of worship should be to offer, as the song says, more than a song, and more than words but a heart that longs to bring him pleasure in everything that we do.

Not too long ago for our young adults worship night, called Element, I tried something a little bit different. Around the auditorium of our church, I set up four stations. One with some loose paper and some pencils, where people wrote down, in their own way, how/why they adore God. Another had bread and water (no-one told me that the church was temporarily out of Grape juice, so we used water) and here people spent time confessing their sin and repenting before God and re-establishing relationship with Him. In another corner there was an area where people could sit and devote a few minutes just to thanking God for all He's done, and all He's provided for us. And another area was set up so that people could bring their requests and supplications before God. I allowed this time to take up most of the time that we usually take with worship through song and just selected three very contemplative, dedication, worship songs just to come together and tell God, corporately, how much we love Him and want to worship Him.
The time of worship that was had by all was amazing. Not because I had given them all of their favourite songs to sing or because I had done everything differently and freaked everyone out, but because on that night we, as a worship team, allowed room for the Holy Spirit to move in a way that wasn't dictated or even confined by us. We allowed people's hearts to search God out and meet him where they were in their walk.
That night was an example of the effect on God's heart that our worship could have and should have. We as a group of young adults made God smile that night! We fulfilled one of his purposes for our lives!

Romans 12:1 says "And so dear brothers, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice--the kind he will accept. When you think of how much he has done for you, is this too much to ask?"(NLT). To me, this does not sound like a comfortable place in which to be. The verse does not say, "offer your minds, or emotions or thoughts," but it does say "offer your bodies." Where in contemporary corporate worship does the congregation have the opportunity to make use of their hands and feet in a worshipful act? When do we let them use their muscles to worship God? Sure, I can hear you saying "I am always down the front jumping around and I raise my hands for the slow songs when I worship." To that I say "It's good to hear that you are that enthusiastic to jump and dance for Jesus, but are you that enthusiastic about humble service? Probably not." When was the last time you were as eager to help your Mum wash the dishes as an act of worship as you are every Sunday (or Friday) night to jump around?
Now hear what I am saying. DON'T STOP jumping and dancing for Jesus in church, but consider how much more meaningful your worship will be to the Father if it requires humble service in the outside (of church) world.

Let me sum this up. Worship as we know it isn't adequate. We neglect God in huge amounts when we limit our corporate worship to singing in church. Why do we do this? To make ourselves comfortable and to be "relevant" to the community around us. God doesn't call for people who are comfortable, He calls for worshippers. Do we honestly dare to think that God cant move in someone's heart as much in a painting as in a song? YES we do; or at least that's how it seems when we don't give Him the opportunity. Let's start branching out in our form/styles of worship and watch as the God we serve smiles on us!

Please feel free to make any comments or queries or just let me know where you think I can put this post. My intention for this site is that people will go away thinking and challenged by what they've read and I hope that you are.

Thornlieyouth Calendar


This is the Thornlieyouth calendar for 1st term 2006. we chose a phoenix because it symbolises the rising out of the ashes that we are going to see happen this year as God really works in our hearts and the hearts of our young guys.

Tuesday, January 31

Job: man of....

Lately I’ve been reading Philip Yancy's The Bible Jesus Read and though I'm not far into it, I have already been impressed by some of the things he has said.

His first chapter talks about the Old Testament in general and in essence why it's there and it has some interesting things to say about the character of god as portrayed in the OT. The second chapter is somewhat of a personal commentary to the book of Job. Now I have to say that prior to reading this book I had not read all of Job and it wasn’t high on my "Books-of-the-Bible-that-I-really-badly-want-to-read" list. As I started to read this chapter though, I thought to myself, "Self, you don’t actually know what goes on in Job besides the main gist of the story so you better read it!" So I am and if it weren't for what I'm learning in this book, it would be a hard read. This book however has taught me some things that will help m to understand Job much better.

I was one of those people who always thought and I guess have always been taught that Job is about suffering with a side serving of "oh and Job was faithful." After all, it does contain a lot of suffering, and Job does say some pretty out there things about and toward (mostly toward) God. but what I’ve recently come to realise is that the focus of the book of Job is directed towards Job's faith not his suffering. Can Job Still trust a God who seems to go completely against his Character? Though everything suggests that god has left Job, does he still believe that God is close?

Yancy’s book outlines for us that God is NOT who is testing Job; in fact it's Satan testing Job's loyalty to God. Satan believes that Job only loves god, because god has blessed him so richly. he thinks that there is no true loyalty, only loyalty that is maintained with blessings poured upon blessings. {One thing I have only noticed now is that God actually recommends Job to Satan for the tests and trials.} All through Job's discourses, he upholds not only his innocence but also the character of God. For all job knew God was punishing him unjustly but that went against all that job knew about God and who he was (and is)
I was surprised at two things in the book of job, one being job's candour with god, and the other, which was pointed out by Yancy, is the Style in which the book was written. Job reads like a Shakespearean tragedy or a mystery in which the plot of the story is laid out in the first few moments and the rest of the play is spent unraveling it. Think for a moment about this; in the first 2 chapters the whole story is played out; the introduction of job, the "deal" between God and Satan, and the blows to job. chapters 3- 37 are the unraveling of the story, the detective searching out the clues so to speak, where job and his "FRIENDS" argue back and forth over who is right(eous) and chapters 38-41 are God's speech in response. Reading job with this in mind, made the book much easier to read.
"It helps to think of Job as a mystery play, a "whodunit" detective story. We in the audience have showed up early for a press conference [at] which the director explains his work. We learn who did what in the play, and we understand that the personal drama on earth has its origin in a cosmic drama in heaven."
The Bible Jesus Read--Yancy


The other thing that surprised me about Job is how frank Job was with God. he even insinuates that god turns a blind eye on evil and his back to the Righteous, but then in the same breath, he says that the wicked have no foothold in the world. [Don’t you agree that at times it is easy to think that the wicked get rewarded and the Christians get a tough break? it's good to know that God is interested in us not what we own. I want to be as honest with God as job is].

So what have I learned from Job?
1. That Job is not a book to quote from to people who feel down to lift their spirits but I’d recommend it to that same person to show them that they can be honest with god about how they're feeling.
2. That the majesty and power of God go far beyond any Human's wildest imagination. We can never know everything that God knows.
3. That sometimes I am a better friend when I am silent than when I speak.
4. That GOD is GOD and will always be GOD. He was he is and will always be.
"There's a Rock that doesn't move, it hasn't moved it will never move, even though the waves come crashing down"
Delirious?

God's Character never changes. I don’t have to be concerned if he will be different tomorrow than he was today. God is GOD

5. THAT JOB WAS MORE A MAN OF FAITH AND SUBSTANCE, THAN MERELY A MAN OF SUFFERING.


Read Job. You'll learn so much about God, and Job, and yourself, don't think it's outdated, you'll be surprised how little things have changed in the world (and out of it).

Have fun.

Stunners

Wednesday, January 18

Filling you in

ok, ok, you win steve. here's the fill in on what's been happening since last post. where to start?

i'll work backwards.

18th of jan
today mmarks the 20th anniversary of my flamily (including myself) moving to Perth, Western Australia. not that i either had a choice or even remember the move as i was only 14 months old, but if you ask my bro, it's a big deal.
today is also my day off. a good thing. i've been playing around with some photos in Photoshop which you can see on flicr.
13th of jan.
Shane flew to thailand on friday and his presence is already being missed by more than just myself. shane is one of the leaders of thornlie youth and my best mate. he is one of those people who everyone can rely on (to be late) and everyone's fiend.. i mean FRIEND.

see you in 6 months, shane.

15th of jan
my parentals came home from their holiday to adelaide and melbourne today. what a pity. i had the run of the house and it was great though tiring. i had people over and parties and dinner with friends and just had a great time while they were gone. i must say though that it's nice to have them back so they can look after me and the house. i would hate to have had to pay bills, or vacuum, mow the lawns or do any responsible stuff like that! and besides where would i find time?

1st of jan.
i guess the next thing i shoud talk about is new years and Christmas. new years eve was good but we missed the count-down Stinking 96fm didnt do one!! either that or none of the 15-20 people that were at my place heard it!. yeah you heard right. Party at the munyards! it does happen but only when my parents are on the other side of the country. any way back to the countdown issue, we missed it so we made our own. at 00:19.50 we started counting with sparklers in everyone's hand! wait that's everyone's hand BUT mine I had an unlit candle (it had been lit but had gone out) so then 10, 9, 8, 7,...3,2,1, Happy new year!!! this is the part where i throw up my hands forgetting about the melted runny candle wax and end up with it all over my Shirt, all through my hair and all over the food table lucky most of the food was gone! so a good new years eve.

25th of Dec
christmas day. Last year's christmas day was really quite boring...and i loved every minute of it. we got up late, headed off to my sister's new house hwere had had morning tea and did the presents thing. then we had lunch at our house with just immediate family (inc. Brett) then sat around doing nothing, went to see the house that Kimberley and brett are building down in SEVILLE GROVE on the way to Uncle Neil and Aunty Gill's to do the present thing again. then to the beach but too cold to swim, then home. for presents i got a tripod and a Car cleaning kit and other stuff which i can seem to remember. i gave mum an electric massager, dad got a bottle of vino, simon got season four of futurama, brett got simpsons season 6 collectors edition, and Kimberley got a Calendar! i know Cheap but thats what she asked for and there was no way i was going into Bras n Things to get her the slippers she wanted!!! there's a line people!! and i aint crossing it.

24th nov -3rd dec
leavers Chaplaincy Was awesome again this year. we went down margaret river, specifically prevellt caravan park to witness to the leavers and to ensure their safety and well being. as it turns out this was the safest and well beed year yet. i got into a few good conversations about god stuff and one guy whom i'm still in contact with is millimeters off of making a committment. you can see photos of leavers on flicr. see link on sideboard

6th of nov
Happy birthday to me! turned 21 here you can see photos of my "party" at the South Perth Foreshore on flicr. got my camera and Case, a few vouchers, an Awesome high intensity LED torch and money from rellies. my camera is a fujifil s5600 digital semi SLR with 10x optical zoom and 5.1 megapixel. nice photos come from it.


well that's all i can think of right now, i know there was probably more you're wanting to know about like my sister;s wedding but that can wait. i dont think i'll forget that one. also stay tuned to flicr coz i'm hoping to be continually uploading new pics every few days.
see you on the other side. (of what i don't know.)

Tuesday, January 10

New photos

Hey guys i've just uploaded Bulk photos for youz to peruse so check out the link.

Flicr
or check out my profile.

Profile