Saturday, March 22, 2008

All of us, like sheep, have strayed away.
We have left God's path to follow our own.

Yet the Lord laid on him the sins of us all.
He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word.

Isaiah 53:6-7a

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

What a friend...

A couple of weeks ago I went on ES (EU no longer!) Commencement Camp to kick off the year.
A camp of many highlights, one of the biggest for me was being involved with the music. Singing together with passion and conviction to our God - it's hard to top!
One of the great things about ES music is that, because we have people from all sorts of backgrounds, we have great mix of songs from different backgrounds.
It often surprised me that the words of the hymns we sang always particularly stayed with me. Boring old hymns? Goobery sickly sweet tunes? Not at all- the ones we sang anyway were packed with insightful and profound words and concepts.

This verse from good ol 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus' has kept on lingering since camp.

What a friend we have in Jesus,
all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,

all because we do not carry
everything to God in prayer.

One thing I've learnt about myself, and which I suspect I might not be alone in, is that I over-complicate things. I'll overthink something, letting my thoughts jump way ahead and so reach unrealistic conclusions. Something that's simple I'll try too hard to solve myself and just complicate unecessarily. So the words 'what peace we often forfeit, o what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer' really got to me.

God is there, arms open and waiting for us to come to him with all of our junk, our burdens, our worries, our pain - but we hang on to them ourselves, trying to solve them through our own power and maybe indulging in a nice dose of self pity. And to be able to bring those things to God in prayer isn't a right - it's a privilege. Something we don't deserve, but that God holds out to us.

Even though I'm pretty thick sometimes and need to learn the lesson about bringing everything to God over and over and over again, in my experience there's no other peace - that strange and wonderful release and relief - that I can try and produce, to even try to compare to the peace that God brings. It's just so ... right.
Now the challenge is to actually bring 'everything to God in prayer' for him to bear!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

and I see spots and stripes and copper pipes

So apparently my blog's been a bit quiet lately.

This is true.

Go Facebook.

But a heck of a lot has happened since I last posted. We've found out that Dad got a job in NZ for one as dean of Bishopdale Theological College for one, which is hugely exciting as he will be brilliant it all just seems very 'right'. But it will also mean lots of big changes - Mum, Dad and Jon will head over there on May 20, and I'll be moving in with Dan and Phili (200m up the road, still won't have to drive to church. Although there probably still will be times...)

Then there's the pilgrimage. It's now happening in mid-Jan to mid-Feb next year, which will hopefully open it up to more uni students (as opposed to Sept-Oct hols). Although I still feel like I'm feeling may way through the dark a bit and don't know how I ended up being a leader on the thing, it's a good lesson in trusting and relying on God.

And that's not even the last few weeks...that's a whole other story kids. Wonderful Sydney holiday, new jobs, hospitals...

But anyway, today I was thinking about my lack of postage, and looking for inspiration. Two funny things happened, both out of the ordinary, but at the same time very ordinary as they always happen and you just don't happen to be there to see them.

Firstly, the bus driver took a wrong turn this morning. When that happen, there's already this instant solidarity among the passengers. People look at each other - does he realise? Is he new? Is he a serial murderer taking us on a detour towards a cliff standing over burning sulpher?? Suddenly you're exchanging 'what should we do?' glances with people who only a few seconds earlier were firmly in the 'them' realm, far away from 'we' territory. Inevitably one brave soul piped up to inform the driver that he was completely wrong. Then another asked him where the next stop was, to which he replied 'The next stop? The next stop??' I think he was feeling a little wounded.

The second fun incident was a police chase. As I was waiting to cross at an intersection, a zippy little silver car did what it does best and zipped around the corner right in front of a turning bus. Unfortunately for the driver, there was a police car on the other side of the bus which cranked the sirens and started chasing. So uh... that was the highlight of my day!

Highlight of tomorrow... going to Redcliff's!! WOO!! = SeeingMimandJordRelaxingBeingchallengedAttemptingtowaterskiBunnybashingUteridingMinibussingGooooooodtimes!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

These guys are my new heroes!

Watch all the way to the end...

Monday, November 19, 2007

apparently uni students are sophisticated?

Yep, pretty sophisticated - me, Hannah, Tam-ster, Tom and Jeremy (ooh, boys in a girls school! What chick-magnets!)

So last Friday was pretty awesome.

Tamie did a talk in the chapel service at Saints Girls a few months back, and Catie (the chaplain - she was on the pilgrimage last year too!) asked her to come back to talk with the year 11's for an hour about what EU does. An hour! About what EU does! What does EU do? Tells people about the gospel on campus! So what could we do? Tell them about the gospel!

So Tamie got a few of us along with her to help her out, in what was a pretty jam-packed hour. We got into smaller groups and brainstormed what came to mind when they thought of uni -unibar was pretty high up there, and surprisingly in my group things like 'sophistication' and 'maturity' were considered seriously, teehee. It was also pretty funny, each group had to report back on the top couple of things, and one girl, instead of saying 'co-ed' accidentally said 'uni-sex', which was followed by much uproarous giggling.

But anyway, as well as talking about the things we do (like Tom (el presidente) talked about what EU is, & I talked about Commencement Camp), Tamie worked it so that we could use talking about those things as a neat segue into talking about the gospel.

Hannah, in talking about FAT (Fellowship and Training) did the Two Ways to Live outline (what an opportunity!!), and then each small group got the 6 pics and raced against each other to put them in the right order and explain it.

From there Jeremy talked about Jesus Week - and the whole theme of 'Has God Failed' - and in typical Jeremy style was pretty up front with asking them 'do you think God's failed?'.

This is where the best bit came - we then, in our small groups, opened that topic up for discussion. We were prepared for what to do if our girls didn't talk, but it was the opposite! From talking about which 'has God failed' issue resonated most with them (poverty, injustice, natural disasters, too many faiths, and one dead Messiah) a whole host of issues and questions came up, and they were so open to talking. In about ten minutes I think my group talked about poverty, God's responsibility, predestination, the authority of the Bible, God sending Jesus to die as 'cosmic child abuse' - so many things, and so little time! Having the 2WTL pictures there really helped as having something to keep referring back to. It was fantastic to see that hunger as opposed to apathy. Please pray that they'd keep looking for answers!!

It was a fantastic opportunity that I really enjoyed - but more so I'm glad that God works even through our bumbling words!

Go team!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

here in this place

WOOHOO, uni stuff done, finito for the year - exams are done (quality questionable, but they're done), and last essay handed in on Monday. Yesss. All the best to everyone who's not quite finished yet -almost done! Hang out for walking out of your last exam/handing up your last assignment.

Although I keep having this strange fear that there'll be some big essay or exam that I haven't realised I had and not do/hand it in ... A little paranoid, Woody Allen-esq? I think it's stemming from when I slept through my alarm for work a couple of weeks ago and woke up a half hour after I was supposed to be there, eep!

BUT I'm enjoying the freedom to read and nap and think and process and have space and get put-off things done.

Also, I found this quote the other day which I thought was pretty awesome:

"No man who bothers about originality will ever be original ... if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring two pence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it"
- C.S. Lewis

Go C.S.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

it's an unjust world


At the moment my excercise book is lying open in front of me, taunting me with as yet unrevised fun things to learn. What better thing to do, then, than update my poor neglected blog! This time with something of a bit more substance than name-alike people ... I've been meaning to for a while actually, to let you know about a book I've been reading for my history subject, one of the more confronting one's I've read in a while:

Granted, I haven't actually finished it (yet!), but I first started reading it on the bus home from uni one day, and was so drawn into it that I missed my stop - never have I done that before! That, I thought, is the sign of a good book (a non-fiction one at that!)

It's basically about modern day slavery - even though slavery is illegal in the world, there are 27 million people trapped in a new kind of slavery (e.g. it's not racial anymore). That there is still such a huge amount of slavery in the world today was a revelation to me - I thought that apart from a few abnormal situations, it was pretty much non-existant. But not so. It's a hugely lucrative business - big profits are made out of cheap lives. It's pretty hard reading - the second chapter's on Thai sex slaves, where young girls are lured away (or sold) from their villages and homes with a false contract. Anyway, if you're interested has got more info.