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My Fav Christmas song…

 

 

 

I Celebrate the Day – Relient K

 

And with this Christmas wish is missed
The point I could convey
If only I could find the words to say to let You know how much You’ve touched my life
Because here is where You’re finding me, in the exact same place as New Year’s eve
And from a lack of my persistency
We’re less than half as close as I want to be

And the first time
That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever

And so this Christmas I’ll compare the things I felt in prior years
To what this midnight made so clear
That You have come to meet me here

To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me
In the hope that what You did
That you were born so I might live
To look back and think that
This baby would one day save me

And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life

 

 

My fav Christmas song..

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so I’ve come to the conclusion I’m not good enough…

I stuff up, stumble, fall, trip over the same stupid stuff, can’t talk good, shy, self conscious, doubt when i should have faith…

This is one of the reasons why I love the Bible – it’s full of people who are not good enough… yet God still loved them, used them to do mighty things and change the world and blessed them.

People like Adam, Noah, Moses, David, Jonah, Peter, Thomas, are all great examples of the grace of God.

Let’s look at Adam and Eve.

Many of us know the story of Adam and Eve. The original sin. They were given one rule in the garden, and they broke it. They ate the fruit. Let’s have a look at

Genesis 2:6-13

6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man[a] and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

Adam and Eve sinned – felt shame and tried to cover it with fig leaves.

God knowing what they had done, says. “Where are you?”

They reply “hiding cos we are naked.”

God says, “who told you that you are naked?”

In verse 21, It says that God made them clothes from animal skins. These clothes would have covered them much better than fig leaves.

As Christians we believe that God sent Jesus to die on the cross for our sins so that we may be forgiven. We find it fairly basic to our beliefs that God can forgive anyone and welcome them into the body of Christ.

But how often do we forget that this grace is not only for the not-yet-saved, but also for us? Jesus can cover us a lot better than animal skin.

How often are we like Adam and Eve and we look down on ourselves and what we have done and rather than running to God to seek forgiveness, we run the other way to try and hid our shame with fig leaves.

My favourite passage of scripture is in Luke 15 verse 11 – 31 – the parable of the prodigal son.

I love it because it gives me a picture of God.

Most of us would know the story.

Then he said, “There was a man who had two sons. The younger son said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’

“So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and over indulged, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He had no food or money so he started looking for a job. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father. – he rehearsed a speech… he was scared that because he had turned his back on his father and shut him out that his father wouldn’t help him.

“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’

“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a robe and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a big fat cow and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—I thought he was dead but he is now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.

The Son never got to finish his speech.. he said “’Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’ – but he never go to the part about asking to be hired help…

When we come to God for forgiveness – we aren’t a second rate Christian…

While the son was still a long way off – the father ran out to him – the closest we can get without grace is still a long way off’

One last point we can take from this story – The father covered the son with a robe. – we can only imagine how filthy the son would’ve been – working with pigs – he had no food so obviously no shower – he then walked a long way home… so by the time he got to his father he would have been rather dirty… the father placed the robe on him – this robe covered all his dirt.

Jesus is better than any robe.

Another example of someone who was not good enough is Moses. Moses thought this too. When God asked Moses to go to Pharaoh to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, God gave him lots of instructions.. he told him exactly what to say and do… Then Moses says in Exodus 4:1 “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The LORD did not appear to you’?”

So God turns his staff into a snake, gives him leporasy and then heals him and tells him if they still don’t listen, don’t worry, I’ll turn the water to blood.

But Moses looks at himself, and says in verse 10 “O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

When God tells us to do something, rather than looking at how big God is, how often do we look at ourselves and doubt.

It’s like for a moment we forget who made us. We forget that we are clothed in Jesus. We look at our sin and our failed attempts to cover our shame rather than looking at Jesus, who God gave us to cover us.

So, yes – I’m not good enough – but that’s ok… God already solved that problem.. He gave me Jesus… Jesus is always more than good enough…

Easter – more than chocolate…. right?

I realise this is probs a little late – Easter being last week and all… but well… it is my blog – so… meh.

Anyways, the death and resurrection of Jesus shouldn’t be something we only think about once a year… right. (We do still think about it at Eastertime – don’t we?)

This year Easter weekend was something I was very much looking forward to. Easter not only meant an extra long weekend (something I really appreciate now that I am working full time again) but also Easterfest… Which this year had two of my all time fav bands coming from USA. 🙂 I had a great weekend, hanging with my 3 younger sisters (it was Sharleen’s first easterfest) and 2 best friends! Also had fun “fangirling” (it’s practically a sport) and enjoying music and good times.

So what should Easter be about?

A song that i heard this week for the first time in a couple of years was this one:

“Thank You” – Sanctus Real

There are new horizons with colors that I’ve never seen
The sky is filled with graces since you have carried me
I felt so far beyond your reach, but you gave everything for me
I was lost but you rescued my life

[Chorus:]
Why in the world did you come after me?
Thank you, thank you
Words aren’t enough, but for now I can say
Thank you, thank you

There is hope rising ’cause you have strength I’ve never seen
And your eyes are shining ’cause you shed tears for me
I was miles from dry land, but you gave everything you had
I can’t understand a love of this kind

[Chorus:]

I could find other lines that you haven’t heard spoken over and over again
I’ve tried every way, but I keep landing on that simple phrase
So I’ll keep singing, “thank you”

[Chorus:]

It is so easy to become too familiar with the “Easter Story” that I forget what really happened… the love, pain, hurt, forgiving, sacrifice, longing, betrayal, blood, compassion… all these often get lost in the 3 minutes it takes us to share the story (if we decide to share).

It’s true, just as the song says, He came after you. And although I can’t explain why He would come after me, I know it’s gotta be love. “I can’t understand a love of this kind” it’s far beyond what I could ever hope, imagine, think or dream of…

“And your eyes are shining ’cause you shed tears for me” – this line gets me every time… wow..

So, Thank You!


Went to Sydney this last weekend for the second time this year. In July I went for a week to volunteer for Hillsong conference…

On Saturday morning, Evelyn, Nicola, Kirstin, Alana and I flew to Sydney (in a plane… we can’t actually fly). We went down for Big Exo Day 20

09…

We had such a rad time. Saw Ellington, Planet of the Stereos, New Empire, Lecrae and Relient K play. Was great. The weather was a million times better than last year’s Big Exo (rainy and freezing!)

Nicola and I got to hang out with Relient K! That was rad and random!

Nikki and I with Relient K

The next day we visited our Church family @ hillsong hills campus. That was fun… love it!!

1. Late night chats
2. Hangs with great mates
3. Fast internet
4. Old people still in love
5. Laughing so much it hurts
6. Listening to Family Force 5
7. Watching the sun set
8. Brekky on the Beach
9. Aussie Day BBQ
10. Dancing at live gigs
11. Discovering new fav bands
12. Making people smile
13. Making people laugh
14. Encouraging people
15. Getting to church early
16. Seeing people grow
17. New friends
18. Old friends
19. Prawns on the BBQ on Boxing day
20. Waking up and realizing there are still a few hours left to sleep
21. Swings
22. Inside jokes
23. Warm spring days
24. Schoolies week
25. Hillsong conference
26. Birthday dinners
27. Nanna’s special marshmallow- topped birthday cake
28. Winning
29. Annoying my sisters
30. Introducing someone to new music
31. New songs from my fav bands
32. walking at night at kangaroo point with friends
33. Travel
34. Photos
35. Re-watching fav movies
36. Heartsupport.com
37. Sunshine after rain
38. Church family
39. Fast cars
40. Discussing future adventures
41. Good hangs
42. Babies
43. Learning new things
44. Stuffchristianslike.net
45. Love
46. Sun showers
47. Life
48. Not losing
49. Christmas morning
50. Sitting in silence with best friend
51. Inspirational people
52. Beach at sunset
53. Long walks
54. Exciting travel with friends and family
55. Offending christians with Jesus
56. Peace
57. Sleep ins
58. Staying up late
59. Handing assignments in
60. Being in an empty church building

Over the last few days, weeks even, this message of being thankful and grateful for what I have been given, those around me and people expressing their thanks and gratitude for me has kept coming up, over and over again.

I admit straight up that this is not an area that I excel in… at all. I often fail at it.. but am trying…

The latest of these happenings occurred today, twice already, and it’s only 3pm…

At breakfast, Aaron spoke about being thankful of the opportunity we have been given, making it count and loving those around us as we go.

Then I got home and read a blog post from B. Reith.. here is an excerpt…

So while I was on the plane I wrote down 25 things I’m thankful for. Not in any order, and not the top 25, just the first 25 things that popped into my head. So here it is:

1. Oxygen – my lungs are working and I can breathe in and out without pain.
2. My heart is successfully pumping blood throughout my entire body.
3. My mother and father – for their unconditional love, support and friendship for my entire life. That is a rare thing to have these days.
4. God’s forgiveness and mercy because of the sacrifice that Jesus made.
5. Water and food. I don’t miss a meal unless if I choose to. I read somewhere that 1/3 of the world is well-fed, 1/3 is underfed, and 1/3 is starving. I dump out water and people die every day because they don’t have access to it.
6. My job – I get paid to do what I love most, to connect with people through music.
7. Eternal life through Jesus Christ, that trumps them all.
8. For the fact that now is not forever. Our worst moments here are only temporary.
9. Strong Tower Bible Church.
10. The ability to see, hear, smell, touch, speak and sing. (sorry, that’s like 6 in 1)
11. The ability to read, write, learn and study.
12. Good coffee 🙂
13. My 97 Honda Accord that I got for dirt cheap.
14. The gospel and salvation of Jesus. That I have access to the Truth through God’s Word.
15. The privilege to sponsor a child in Sudan through http://www.makewaypartners.org.
16. I survived today, on two different planes, in a van with a crazy driver, on a shuttle… nothing bad happened. I saw on the news yesterday that a dad killed in a car accident on his way to welcome his son back from the war in Iraq. I believe that everyday miracles are happening all around us, we just don’t see them. I’m thankful for those miracles.
17. For the times I’ve suffered and hurt and God helped me through it. I’m now stronger because of the trials I faced.
18. My band of brothers, who walk with me and strengthen me when I’m weak.
19. Good movies.
20. The internet 🙂 And all other technological things that make life a lot easier, like microwaves, oh… and laptops!
21. I can talk to God the Creator and King of the universe anytime I want because I have access to Him through Jesus. That blows all of these other things out of the water.
22. Comfortable beds, in which I’m about to go to sleep in. My friend just got back from Haiti and said that there is a homeless community of kids that live in a trash heap.
23. Good breakfast!
24. Inspiring music
25. Sunsets that make you stop where you are and be filled with awe.

Wow, I could go on and on and on. I would encourage you to try this exercise. Reminding myself of the things I’m thankful for changes my perspective. I spend most of my time looking at the negative, finding the one thing to complain about. That’s ridiculous. If we practiced being thankful everyday I promise it would open our eyes to how blessed we are, and how much we can help others at the same time

I have so many things to be thankful for, so many people to be thankful for and a great God to be thankful for… but do I live my life that way?

A song I first heard a few years back that really moved me is “Thank You” – Sanctus Real

There are new horizons with colors that I’ve never seen
The sky is filled with graces since you have carried me
I felt so far beyond your reach, but you gave everything for me
I was lost but you rescued my life

[Chorus:]
Why in the world did you come after me?
Thank you, thank you
Words aren’t enough, but for now I can say
Thank you, thank you

There is hope rising ’cause you have strength I’ve never seen
And your eyes are shining ’cause you shed tears for me
I was miles from dry land, but you gave everything you had
I can’t understand a love of this kind

[Chorus:]

I could find other lines that you haven’t heard spoken over and over again
I’ve tried every way, but I keep landing on that simple phrase
So I’ll keep singing, “thank you”

My 25 things… (in no particular order.. just what came to me as I typed this)

1. God – saved me.. without Him I’d hate to think where I’d be.. headed to hell.
2. Friends – who stand by me no matter what, for the fun times that build our bond and the tough times that cement it.
3. Family – unconditional love.
4. Music – speaks when I don’t wanna listen.
5. Church – accepting and life changing.
6. Internet – able to reach millions of people at the click of a button… under utilized resource.
7. Food – 26000 kids die everyday from a lack of basic necessities.
8. Education – School and uni are services that I often don’t give a second thought about.
9. Mobile Phone – what the heck would I do with out it?
10. James Turner – Legend who has inspired and taught me heaps.
11. Ben Hafner – Way back showed me that Christianity wasn’t only for weirdos… and now continues to inspire me to love others.
12. Hillsong United – Being part of such an epic community is incredible!
13. Job – I haven’t ever had to find a job, the right job always finds me, giving me the flexibility to do stuff like schoolies and other such things without having to hastle about holidays and time off, while still earning good money.
14. Car – My car enables me to get places… easily.
15. Australia – I live in a pretty great country, beautiful and I heart the weather… but also relatively good leadership.
16. Sunsets – make me think of God and smile.
17. Redbull – hehhe…
18. Redfrogs – schoolies week makes me feel alive.
19. Photos – Being able to look back and remember.
20. Holidays – Times to chill and rejuvenate.
21. Connect Group – being able to share life with an awesome bunch of people that truly inspire me.
22. Deodorant – It keeps me friendly.
23. Sleep – so underrated
24. Ideas, hopes and dreams
25 – Today – I woke up breathing 🙂

What are your 25 things?

… no not the softdrink… not the type that gets you from the carpark level to the shopping level of the department store… and definitely not the song by Shannon Noll…

I’m talking about the type of lift we all need from time to time.

Donna was talking about being lifted up at church the other night. For her, it was a maths teacher who had faith that she was smart enough to pass and sowed time and encouragement into her, for Mia, it was the man from the Salvo’s who came each Sunday to pick her and her sisters up for church.

It reminded me of the importance of others.
It reminded me that we cannot do this alone.
It reminded me of the heart of Jesus, loving others. When Jesus walked the earth, He didn’t seem to assume what people needed (afterall to assume makes an ASS of U and ME ;)). In Mark 10:58, Jesus is met with a blind man. The man was calling out to Him and He and His disciples and a crowd were walking by. Jesus stopped and called Him over, and asked the blind man, “What do you want me to do for you?” To this the blind man replied, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

I love that Jesus asked the man, rather than simply sweeping in and fixing his problems. I think that sometimes we, chrstians, think we have all the answers. Sure, we do have Jesus, and He is the answer but does this give us the monopoly on knowing what is best for people and what they need.

LIFT:

  • to move or bring (something) upward from the ground or other support to a higher position
  • to raise or direct upward
  • to hold up or display on high
  • an act or instance of helping to climb or mount

Follow You – Leeland

You live among the least of these
The weary and the weak
And it would be a tragedy
For me to turn away
All my needs You have supplied
When I was dead You gave me life
So how could I not give it away so freely?

And I´ll…
Follow You into the homes of the broken
Follow You into the world
Meet the needs for the poor and the needy God
Follow You into the world

Use my hands use my feet
To make Your kingdom come
To the corners of the earth
Until Your work is done
Faith without works is dead
On the cross Your blood was shed
So how could we not give it away so freely?

And I give all myself
I give all myself
I give all myself to You

Give Me Your Eyes – Brandon Heath
Give me your eyes for just one second
Give me your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me your love for humanity
Give me your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see
yeah…yeah…yeah…yeah

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what’s underneath
There’s a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He’s out of work, he’s buying time
All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared

We often sing the words “In my life, be lifted high, In my world, be lifted high. In our love, be lifted high.”
What do these words actually mean? How do we practically/ literally lift God high?

    Matthew 25:35-36

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

THOUGHTS

When have you needed lifting?
Who lifted you?
If no one lifted you, what ditch would you be in?
Are you lifting others?
How should we lift others?
How has Jesus lifted you?
Do we Lift Jesus?
Is that what worship is about?

Ever asked God a stupid question?
Ever thought that your life wasn’t adventurous enough?

Jon Accuf may just have some answers…

This sermon thing is funny… and it may just change the way you view God.. and yourself.. and others…

#587. Booty, God, Booty and the 4 Word Gospel.

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Spent last week in Victoria, first couple of days in Traralgon and the rest in Melbourne. Sam and I went down for a Bible College intensive on counseling. It was an interesting week. Lots of classes, meeting new people, catching up with friends, sleep, exploring and learning.

Here are some of the highlights….

Classes…

The whole reason we went to Melbs was for the classes. All day Monday to Friday, 8:30-3:30… when you factor in an hour travel each way.. it makes a long, tiring day. We sat in a heated, stuffy room for hours. The classes themselves… were.. interesting.

Friends…

Meeting new friends was heaps of fun. We stayed with Amanda and her Grandpa, Col (don’t call him Grandpa, that makes him feel old). Meet some awesome cats in our intensive and caught up with some old friends.

The Weather…

Melbourne is cold. We were expecting this so we packed plenty of warm clothes. It wasn’t the cold that bothered me though, it was the artificial heating everywhere that caused me grief. We went from a heated house to a heated car to a heated classroom. The classroom was the worst, having about 20 people in there for 7.5 hours a day with no fresh air as the windows were bolted shut (apparently it’s a bad neighbourhood).

The Street Preacher…

I thought it was illegal in Victoria to preach in the streets. While walking through the city on Friday night we, Chelsea, Sam and I, were stopped by a street preacher. He asked us what we would say to God when we die to get into heaven. I answered that it has nothing to do with what I say or don’t say at that moment that counts but rather the fact that I believe that Jesus came and died on the cross for my sins and by the grace of God, something that I haven’t earned, my sins are erased and forgiven, and that I try and live a life that honours that.

To which he replied, “WRONG, YOU’RE GOING TO BURN IN THE PITS OF HELL!” -and yes… he yelled.

“Excuse me?”

“You failed to mentioned the BLOOD OF JESUS. SO YOU GET THROWN IN HELL”

“What I do or don’t say at that moment wont matter as much as the life I live.”

“THE BLOOD OF JESUS IS NOT TAUGHT ENOUGH. YOU ARE SINNERS AND GOD DOESN’T LOVE SINNERS. Oh, I suppose you believe in translations other than the KJV too?”

“Um, like ESV? Yea I read that one”

“And you believe it?”

“yea”

“You just called God a liar!!”

I may have gotten a bit fired up after that… I can’t quite recall what happened after that 😛 but I do remember that he walked away from me pissed off and out of comebacks… and when we walked past the same spot 5 mins later he had gone (he had been in the same spot all night).. sure it could have been the 4 cops walking past… but I like to think I pissed him off and he couldn’t handle it anymore…

It honestly broke my heart to think that he had been yelling at people all night, people heard him speak of God and hate… God loves people. People sin…. God loves Sinners.

What I learned…

I learned quite a lot about myself during the week away.

I learned that I am an introvert, and that this means that while I do enjoy people, I need ‘me time’ when I can be alone and chill, otherwise I get grumpy and snappy.

I learned a bit more about what makes me tick… judgmental Christians… and not just those who yell at people in the street… I can very easily become judgmental.

Family Force 5 – For the WIN!!

Click hear the song 🙂