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Category Archives: Life

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…

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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?

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?

209 people died in Victoria, Australia last week. Our nation will stop today for a national day of mourning. We, as a nation, have given over $100 million to help those affected; we have given clothes, furniture, cars, food, heath care items, personal care items, kind words and prayer. We have heard all about it in the media for weeks, we have come together from all across Australia and formed a sense of community that didn’t seem to exist before.

Those responsible for lighting the fires that took those lives are sought after, many wanting to see them dead, or at least in jail for the rest of their lives.

209 die. Everyone stops and watches in terror. Even on the other side of the world, USA and UK and others send their condolences, expressing their shock, grief and kind words of encouragement. Even Pupa New Guinea gave $1 Million to help us rebuild and get our lives back to normal.

Every source of media is overfilled with the news, stories, photos, opinions and forecast of the happenings. The morning news has special broadcasts, extending it until lunch time, the nightly news is broadcast live from one of the refuge centers filling our homes with the screams of desperation as we watch as the survivors realise what and who they have lost.

Our newspapers debate what the consequence of arson causing multiple deaths should be. Photos of burnt homes, sad families, large groups of people with no homes, no jobs, lost family, no smiles and who could forget the image of the burnt koala taking water from a fire fighter, are printed on the pages reminding us of what is unfolding.

The internet has up to the minute updates of death tallies, maps of the fires, hotlines to help find lost loved ones, ways to give to those affected and blogs from all around the world offering kind words. Here is the story in brief. There are facebook groups, Twitter updates, myspace bulletions and forums all buzzing with kind words, and offers of help.

Our radios have been playing interviews with survivors each telling their own story of survival, songs dedicated to the lost, those who lost someone and the fire fighting heroes who looked death in the eye and fought it.

209 die in a week in Australia. We all stop. It is a tragedy that affects us all and will take months, even years to rebuild.

26 500 – 30 000* die EVERYDAY due to poverty. Yesterday about 27 000 children died. Today about 26 000 children died and tomorrow another 26 000 children will die.

Few stop. Few take notice.

No national day of mourning.
No media saturated with the faces of those who died.
No one really knows who died.
No survivors telling their story about how they beat hunger.
No tearful mothers sharing with the world the hopes and dreams her son had.
No buzz across the world as we stand together to fight this evil.
No one offering words of hope.
No $100 million given by Australians in a week.
No extended special edition morning news broadcast explaining how and why this happened.
No one is hunting for those responsible for the crisis in order to bring justice, as those responsible is us.

What will it take for us to care?

Are you offended?

Did reading this make you think, “How dare she…” or “How could she..”?

Are you, right now, trying to think of what you have given or done, to justify yourself?

What will it take?

How many lives have to be lost before we stand up and fight?

Let’s open our eyes..

and see what’s really happening…

Here is part of a song – 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
Ones that are far beyond my reach.
Give me your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me your eyes so I can see

and the bridge from Jon Foreman’s song, Instead of a Show…

give love to the ones who can’t love at all
give hope to the ones who got no hope at all
stand up for the ones who can’t stand up at all

*Stats from global issues

what i learnt this week… summarized a lot

“to be extraordinary, you gotta do something extra!” Robert

“Grace is God going to man, not the other way round” – Judah Smith

“So many people treat grace like an alkward hug – grace is hugging you, so hug back!” – Judah Smith

“global warming is creation moaning for God” – Tim Costello

“We need to be transparent enough so people can see Jesus through us” – Joel Houston

“We can’t do everything, but we can do something well” – Paul De Jong

“Love God.Love Others” – Mike Pilavachi

“Worship is the language of Love – the expression of love” – Mike Pilavachi

“When you love someone you don’t just tell him you love him, you tell EVERYONE you love Him” – Mike Pilavachi

“Evangelism is an overflow of worship” – Mike Pilavachi

“Worship that doesn’t come out as evangelism is self indulgent, evangelism that doesn’t come
out of worship is legalism” – Mike Pilavachi

“our actions are an outworking of our hearts” – Darlene Zschech

“Sin isn’t like a vending machine, I’ve never seen a vending machine follow me around” – Judah Smith

“I’m only one but still i am one, i can not do everything but i can do something but because i can’t do everything , i wont refuse to do the something i can do” – Helen Keller

“We can’t bind the devil if we are going to act like him” Joyce Myer

“Just keep doing what God has put in your heart to do – even if it doesn’t work out, keep doing it” – Mike Gugglimucci

Somebody’s Baby

She yells
If you’re homeless sure
As hell you’d be drunk
Or high or trying to get there
Or begging for junk

When people don’t want you
They just throw you money for beer
Her name was November
She went by Autumn or Fall
It was seven long years
Since the Autumn
When all of her nightmares
Grew fingers
And all of her dreams
Grew a tear

Chorus:
She’s somebody’s baby
Somebody’s baby girl
She’s somebody’s baby
Somebody’s baby girl
She’s somebody’s baby still

She screams
Well if you’ve never gone it alone
Well then go ahead
You better throw the first stone
You got one lonely stoner
Waiting to bring to her knees
She dreams about heaven
Remembering Hell
As the nightmare she visits
And knows all to well
Every now and again
When she’s sober
She brushes her teeth

(Chorus)
Today was her birthday
Strangely enough
When the cops found her body
At the foot of the bluff
The anonymous caller this morning
Tipped off the police
They got her ID
From the dental remains
The same fillings intact
The same nicotine stains
The birth and the death
Were both over
With no one to grieve

(Chorus)

when a door opens
does that mean we should
walk through?

Have you ever wondered why??

Why do we do the things we do?
Why is the sky blue?
why do we talk to the ppl we talk to?
Why get up in the morning?
why work?
why read the Bible?
why go to church?
why laugh?
why study?
why feel?
why cry?
why pray?
why aren’t we more tolerant of ppl?
why love?
Why smile?
Why talk about ppl behind their back?
Why lie?
Why steal?
Why hate?
Why cheat?
Why get hurt?
Why do we find it so easy to talk about nothing yet so hard to share the gospel?
Why is there so much hate in the world?
Why is bad news more popular than good?

why… Why … WHY??

What if??
What if we stopped?
What if we questioned ourselves?
What if we no longer did things we have always done, just because we have always done them?
What if we stopped and thought about others for a moment?
What if we put others first for a change?
What if we realised that the world doesn’t revolve around us?
What if we didnt do the things we do?
would anyone notice?
Would anyone care?

How much of what we do actually counts?
How much of what we do actually helps someone else?
How much of what we do is truthfully unselfish?
Is anything we do totally unselfish?

would it even matter?

What does God think of us?
What would Jesus do?
Do we ever really ask these questions and wait long enough to hear the answer… even tho its not usually what we want to hear?