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Monthly Archives: March 2009

My life as a 22 year old is drawing to an end. I will soon be 23.

The thought of 23 is kinda scary. When I was younger, around 16, I thought that people who were 23 were old. I was sure that they had it all together. They had graduated uni, they knew what they wanted out of life and how to get there. They surely weren’t still living at home, studying, working casually, single and still wondering what the future holds. But this is where I have found myself. Does this mean I am disappointed with my 22 years? No, not at all, in fact, looking back over the last 22 years has made me kinda proud and excited to be where I am today and where I am headed in the future.

Sometimes, I think it helps me to look into my past… I find that it explains a lot about the way I think, feel and act about certain things.

I didn’t just turn out this way by accident though. Lots of people have had input into my life. Some good,others not so good.

I have wrestled with the idea of naming some of those that have impacted my life… I know I will forget some people… but that is a risk I will have to take. The following people (or groups of people) have changed my life… (in no particular order).

hafner
Matt the builder
Mr Simmons
Meyling
Rachel
JT
Dan
United
last year’s interns
Kmart Management (Tom, Doug and John)
Jan and the kids that lived across the road
Asten, Monty, Elida
family
gush.com.au
Jason
Reggie
Maija
Evelyn
Parents
Bible College lecturers
random customers
Deanne
old church
my lifegroup (past and present)
andy
amanda
dan b
chris
jade
bons
tab
emma
kelly
zac
jojo
xxxchurch
Ben
Jack
Paul
cody
mrs vegas
mladen
kate
matty o
jess
bec
nikki
nanna
UK tour 07
judah

Some of those people have no idea who I am… maybe they walked in and out of my life without stopping but something they said or did made me stop, think and change.

One example is when I was only 15, I was still new at my kmart job and it was my first busy Saturday. There was a line up of customers all around the paint counter, waiting for paint to be tinted, keys to be cut or just an answer to a general question. A group of us workers were squashed in behind the counter serving as fast as possible. An old lady came behind the counter, pushing in front of all the others who had been impatiently waiting. One of the more senior casuals told me to help her. She was looking for batteries, annoyed, I pointed her in the direction. She looked confused and asked me to show her where they were. So, although i didn’t want to, I took her to the battery section. When we got there she pulled an old torch from her handbag.
“What batteries do I need?” She asked. I grabbed the torch, opened it and pulled the old batteries out. I grabbed the correct ones off the shelf and handed them to her. She started crying. I froze. Surely I wasn’t rude enough to make her cry! She proceeded to explain that it was her husband, of over 50 years, who usually did this kind of thing, shopping for batteries. He died the previous week, leaving her all alone. Sure her kids visited but they soon went home, back to their normal lives. Her life would never be normal.

That old lady probably doesn’t realize, but that day I learned a lesson. A valuable one.

I think I will have to do a separate post about the people who have influenced my life because if I write about each of those listed above this post will be epicly long.

I think one of the most rewarding parts of getting older or “growing up”, is the people you find “growing up” along side of you. Those who, over time, you have come to know and love. That is what life is about… those around us.

Take a moment and think about those who have influenced you, maybe it’s someone you are close to, maybe this person doesn’t know you exist. Who are they? What is it that they have said or done that has changed or challenged you in some way?

I love pop music, this is how we do it
It’s politics you can romance to
I love pop music, sprinkle sugar through it,
Philosophy that you can dance to

The price of oil is at an all time high and rising (yeah)
Global warming threatens life as we know it on this planet (ohh ooh)
And leaders have not committed to a plan of action on renewable energy
The food crisis is currently affecting a hundred million people world wide

I love pop music, this is how we do it
It’s politics you can romance to
I love pop music, sprinkle sugar through it,
Philosophy that you can dance to

Turn up the radio
And sing along, like you’re all alone
Turn up the radio
And sing along, like you’re all alone

There are over 6 billion people on this planet and not enough fresh drinking water (we’re in trouble)
Religious intolerance creating geopolitical instability (shine a light)
Politicians battling each other like professional wrestlers (ooh)
Further division is not the answer, division is not the answer

I love pop music, this is how we do it
It’s politics you can romance to
I love pop music, sprinkle sugar through it,
Philosophy that you can dance to

Turn up the radio
And sing along, like you’re all alone
Turn up the radio
And sing along, like you’re all alone

Turn up the radio

Greed and fear seem to be the driving forces of modern life
We’re encouraged to consume and consume with no thought of where it all comes from, and where it all goes
Our lives are accelerating as we fall out of touch with nature and ancient myth
We’re desperately in need of a brand new dream

I love pop music, this is how we do it
It’s politics you can romance to
I love pop music, sprinkle sugar through it,
Philosophy that you can dance to

I love pop music, this is how we do it
It’s politics you can romance to
I love pop music, sprinkle sugar through it,
Philosophy that you can dance to
(Turn up the radio
And sing along, like you’re all alone
Turn up the radio
And sing along, like you’re all alone)

I love pop music, this is how we do it
It’s politics you can romance to
I love pop music, sprinkle sugar through it,
Philosophy that you can dance to
(Turn up the radio
And sing along, like you’re all alone
Turn up the radio
And sing along, like you’re all alone)

I heard this song @ work today.. I hadn’t heard it before.  I really like it. It’s true, because we put music to words suddenly people feel comfortable with any lyrics.  For example, Lily Allen’s song, The Fear, has these lyrics

I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don’t care about clever I don’t care about funny
I want loads of clothes and f*** loads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find them

I’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless
‘Cuz everyone knows that’s how you get famous

I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track yeah I’m on to a winner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
‘Cuz I’m being taken over by The Fear

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers
It’s all about fast cars and passing each other
But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic
And that’s what makes my life so f***ing fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption
And its not my fault it’s how I’m program to function
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track yeah I’m on to a winner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
‘Cuz I’m being taken over by The Fear

Forget about guns and forget ammunition
Cause I’m killing them all on my own little mission
Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner
Now everything is cool as long as I’m getting thinner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When we think it will all become clear
‘Cause I’m being taken over by fear.

Do we really know what we are listening to?

Do we care?
Check out my favourite band Family Force 5
and my favourite songs Replace Me, Never Let Me Go, Face Down, Get your Back Off the Wall and Wake the Dead

The music i listen to really does shape the way I think and act. Music has challenged me, guided me, pushed me and comforted me. Switchfoot’s song, This Is Your Life, really made me think about what I was doing with my life and where I was headed.
I like that music can so easily bring us together. It somehow links us, we realise that we actually do go through the same type of stuff, we feel the same feelings and want many of the same things.

I like that music can speak to me… even when I don’t want to listen.

At the moment, some of FF5’s lyrics get me…

Crush me, tear me, break me, mold me
Make me what U want me to be”

I’m on my face again
It’s where i should have been
Brings me back to where i found you
Where i first fell for you
No more depending on myself
It’s you and me and no one else
You stretch out your hand
And now it feels like i am falling into
Love, love, love
Can’t get enough of love”

This revolution
Starts when you’re movin'”

and some other bands…

Brandon Heath – “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 once forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see”

Starfield- ”
How do we feel? How do we feel?
My Generation is aching for real
Dying for love, crying for truth
My Generation is aching for You”

Sanctus Real – “Be my light in the darkened room
I’m on my face and I’m calling you
I can’t fathom all you’ve done for me
Everytim it finds me on my knees”

“Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there’s peace
It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see
but I’m giving in to something heavenly”

Through the use of music we can connect. We can express ourselves. We can share our story. Everyone has a story. Every story is important. So take some time, find out what music your neighbour likes, your boss listens to or your uni mate diggs… you might learn a lot about them. Find out why they like that song or band and their favourite song.

 

Last weekend, I had the privilege of helping out xxxchurch at sexpo, Brisbane.

I first heard of xxxchurch.com back in 2004… I checked it out and fell in love with what they were doing. I loved that they saw a problem… and tackled it head on. A problem that was often side-stepped or ignored by churches around the world. Rather than standing on the outside, yelling from the sidelines, words of anger, judgment and disgust, they jumped right in. Unafraid of the ‘sin’ but loving the people. Unashamed of the name they bear, Jesus. Attempting to live and love just as he did/does.
Since 2004, I have been following their website. Checking out regular video blogs, updates and hatemail. They have changed/expanded/grown quite a bit over the years, the T shirts and designs have developed from “porn sucks” to more eye catching images, they now offer free accountability software and the team recently moved from one side of America to the other with the dream of Strip Church. Throughout all this change, the message remains the same, Jesus Loves Pornstars.

Hopefully by now, you can see why I fell in love with this ministry.

 

When I was given the opportunity to serve with them at Sexpo in Brisbane I jumped at the chance. The days leading up to the porn show I was unbelievably excited and a little nervous. Excited to be a part of something bigger than me and nervous because people had warned me of what goes on in sexpo (how they know… I don’t want to know).

 

I walked in on day 1… not really sure what to expect… prayed up and ready for action… oh wait… totally wrong choice of words there! I was welcomed by the xxxchurch crew. Sam, Rachel, Brian and Deb. They were so lovely and stacks of fun. I began handing out Bibles… It seemed too easy… People loved them, a few stopped and asked what we were about. Good conversations… who would have thought, coming to a porn show to find out about Jesus. Sure, there were a few people who were disgusted by it, others only stopped to talk to ask me out, or to find out if I was going to strip later, but overall, the response was amazing. We were quickly running out of Bibles, suddenly 3000 Bibles didn’t seem like many.

Here I am handing some Bibles to a couple of girls.

I met some very interesting people over that weekend. From Mr Penis Man, the guy in the white suit selling “adult toys”, a few American booth owners who had flown to Australia simply for sexpo, Mr Condom Kingdom booth owner, the girl that was too embarrassed to tell her Christian family that she was actually working at an “adult toy store” not organising an event and new friends.


The whole weekend wasn’t spent at sexpo, I got to hang out with some pretty awesome Americans. Brian and Deb have an amazing story, one that bought tears to most of our eyes during dinner (fish N chips… my fav!). Also got to hang with Sam and Rachel, incredible couple with such a heart for people and great story to tell.
This weekend, I also learnt a lot about myself.
I learnt that I can relate to a range of different people, entering into their world and find common ground.
I learnt that with God, I can do anything.
I learnt to expect the unexpected… amazing things do happen.. Miracles happen everyday, you just gotta be prepared to look for them rather than try to shrug them off as something else.
I learnt that I am not impressed by people who try to impress others.
I learnt that I tend to judge christians. (… something I need to work on).
I learnt that not a lot surprises me.
I learnt that not a lot shocks me.
I was reminded that everyone has a story, each story is different and amazing.
Since working at sexpo, I have found the most common question I am asked by Christians is “how did you cope with it?” I feel like answering, “oh, it totally messed me up… like I am sooo a sex addict now”… I mean what do they think? Are we (Christians) really that scared of the dark? Is that why we insist on hiding in our churches? Do they not realise that I took my light with me so I could see clearly the whole time? Why isn’t the first question I am asked, “How many Bibles were handed out?” or “What was the response like?” It’s something that annoys me… I guess it’s something you gotta get used to when you step out of the box.

“Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn’t as bright as it could be.” (Rob Bell)

You can read more about it at xxxchurch.com.
and while you’re there…check out heartsupport.com

A friend of mine showed me this song last week…
Everytime I hear this chorus I seriously get smashed…
How often do we see things, people and stuff and look the other way without a second thought?
How does God see things differently?
Imagine if the whole world was given God’s eyes… even for just a short time… how would that change the world?

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
Ones that are far beyond my reach
.Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

Give me your eyes – Brandon Heath