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!