Tuesday, March 1, 2011

From Bono

Bono: If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed. When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my shit and everybody else's. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man? And was He who He said He was, or was He just a religious nut? And there it is, and that's the question. And no one can talk you into it or out of it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Did Something Nasty Yesterday

My friend Liz invited some friends over for dinner.
We sat around the table eating the quintessential Australian BBQ....you know your average, sausages, salad, potatoes...
Not talking much. gulping like Mackerel, trying to think of conversation. It's a funny situation, like suspended animation, when you're in a group who aren't kids, but aren't quite adults. You are not quite sure who you are yet, or how you interact with other human beings.

I was observing the rather awkward table, and asked, "So...is everyone here from the Pressie Church?"
Everyone made noises to the affirmative.

"What church do you go to?" a reedy voice from across the table piped up. A young socially awkward kinda guy.
I had a choice here. Tell the truth, the boring truth. Or spice up the night a bit.

"I actually go to the Kotku Mosque," I announced, "I would never step foot into a church!"

"Oh, okay..." the guy mumbled. Christians Never Know what to say in that situation. My friends Isaac and Dan looked at me rather surprised as they weren't aware of my sudden religious conversion.

My friend Liz grinned.

"I suppose you won't mind, then, when we discuss the five points of Calvinism over dessert?"

"Oh not at all, " I waved my hand affably, "If you won't mind, when I put a fatwa on you!"

Everyone laughed. I basked in the attention. This may have nudged me off the edge, when Nervous Guy continued:

"So where are you from?"

"Um, I'm actually from England." In My Best British Voice.

"Ah, okay, I thought I heard an accent. What part of England?"

Getting in Deeper.

"Ah, Sussex"

"Oh, Sussex. I have some friends from Gloucestershire, that's not far from Sussex is it?"

Damn, he has friends near there! Make an intelligent comment up!

I half laugh, "They must be very poor, coming from there..."

He chuckles, too, "Oh yes, they are, they say it's a crap place...."

That was Very Lucky.Time to push my luck.

"So, would you call this a typical dinner?" I ask innocently, spreading my hands over our now cold food.

"Yeah pretty much," Poor Nervous Lied-To Man nods. "What would you call a Typical English dinner?"

"Bangers and Mash." I answer promptly.

It must be noted, it was very lucky he did not question me on this. What the heck are Bangers and Mash?

Anyways, by now, all my friends who know me are cacking themselves, trying not to bawl with laughter.

I ended up pretty much embarrassing the guy pretty badly, when the two questions, "How long have you been away from England?" and "How old are you?" rendered the same answers.

The guy turned red, mumbled into his plate, while I felt worse than the leftover soggy coleslaw.

Never do this to anyway, ever! Only if you never have to see them again!

NIDA scouts, if you are out there....I'm a flippin' genius at acting. Recruit me! Recruit me!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Certifiable Evidence that God Still Loves Me:

A. My friend Liz brought me round a Giant Block of Chocolate.
B. My friend Jess rubbed my back for half an hour.
C. My sister Kylie brought me an awesome CD, Sanctus Real's latest. Massive Encouragement. You all go out and buy it.

So even in my heart if I feel rejected and alone, I see these things, and know that God isn't too far.


Thursday, December 30, 2010


I wanna know why pain makes me stronger
I wanna know why good men die
Why am I so afraid of the dark ?
But I stray from the light

I wanna know why you gave me eyes
When faith is how I see
And tell me
Is it easier to doubt
Or harder to believe

Oh there’s so many questions stirring in me

And I wonder why
Sometimes the truth ain’t easy to find
I wanna know all the answers
But I’m learning that 
These things take time
Yeah, these things take time

How could success make us feel like failures?
And the harder we fall the harder we try
The more I have the more I need
Just to feel like I’m getting by

Oh, there’s so many questions and one short life

And I wonder why
Sometimes the truth ain’t easy to find
I wanna know all the answers
But I’m learning that 
These things take time
Yeah, these things take time

And we spend so much time
Chasing our tails, hoping to find
Every last answer
To everything in life

So many questions; Not enough time

But I’m still 
Wondering why
Sometimes the truth ain’t easy to find
I wanna know all the answers
But I’m learning that 
These things take time
Yeah, these things take time

We all wanna understand why
Evil lives and good men die
On the way to Heaven the truth unwinds
These things take time
These things take time
Yeah, these things take time

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


            Once upon a time a man lived in a town called Materiaville. The people who lived there were very sleepy all the time. In fact, a lot of the people hated being awake so much that they often drank special draughts to help them sleep. And after some time, most of the people didn't need to drink the draughts; they fell into a permanent sleep. The others spent their time either half awake, or dozing. It was rare to find anyone who was actually awake. The youngest ones were fully awake, and spent their time enjoying it, and accidentally waking up the dozing older ones, who grumbled against them, and gave them X-BOXs to help them sleep, too.

One day the little man went to a nearby town called Todefullia. And he was amazed to find that everyone who lived there was awake. “Join us!” They cried, “See what it’s like to be awake….there’s not much life in sleep.” On the town hall was an strange inscription that said:

Wake, O Sleeper. Rise From the Dead and Christ will Shine Upon You.

The little man observed how they were actually awake. He began to live with them, and realised that life awake was different to life asleep.  The food began to have taste….the wine was sweeter, and the music, laughter and love was flowing through the man’s veins for the first time in his life.  

But as time went on, he also saw why the people from Materiaville avoided being awake. The days seemed to go forever, and when there was pain, it seemed to sting more. Also, when people are awake they are forced to see each other in all their beauty and ugliness.

During his stay at Todefullia, the man learnt that soon an event called the Great Awakening would happen. When everyone would be shook to life. The scary thing, the man was told, was that when everyone was shaken, some would not wake up. And some would wake up, and hate being awake. They would spend their time searching for a way to go back to sleep.
The urgency of this event’s coming stirred the man into action.
The man stayed in Todefullia for a year, and then decided to go back to his home. He promised to try and wake the people up in Materiaville, so that they could also experience the Awakened Life. The Todefullians seemed reluctant as they watched him leave.

It turned out they had good reason, because within a small amount of time the man began to forget how good it was to be awake. Pain struck, and a full time job hit. Surrounded by sleeping people, it began to be too hard to stay awake.
The trouble is, once you have been awake, it’s very hard to go fully back to sleep. The man downed the sleeping draughts, but they didn’t last. Each time, he would surface back to reality, feel the sting of pain and quickly gulp more draughts.

After a while, the man discovered that he couldn’t easily wake up, that the moments of lucidity were few and far between. Desperately, he tried to stop drinking the draughts that seemed to have befogged him, and feel again the feelings of pain and love. It took a while, but eventually he could slap the feeling back into himself, open his eyes, and be awake again.
“Oh no!” He thought to himself, “So much time has gone by while I was sleeping.” And the man saw that to be awake with love and pain, was far better than being asleep with nothing.

Realising that the sleep was a curse, he began to frantically wake up his family. One opened their eyes hazily and grunted, “You shouldn’t eat sugar.” then turned over and went back to sleep.
His grandfather barely stirred. The most worrying ones were those who didn’t move. They couldn’t feel his urgent shaking. Their sleep was like that of the dead.

He received varying degrees of response. The younger ones still remembered what it was like to be awake, and most of them got up more easily.
Some others got angry at the shaking, and sleep walked over and beat the crap out of the man.

Eventually, the man gave way to the tempting pull of the sleep, and dozed off.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

For God's Sake, Don't Delay

Have you ever seen one of those bad science fiction movies where people on-board a space-craft get thrust into an air lock, and then released into outer space? Then with panicked looks on their faces, they are sucked into outer space arms waving frantically, mouths gulping for a breath of air.

I have felt a bit like that lately. Except the outer space is a very bad bout of depression, sucking the life out of me slowly and steadily.

Such a stupid difficulty.

Work is getting me to go back and do jobs. This increases the pain, which increases the anxiety. I hate being at work, and my boss, and the whole bureaucratic cage of worker's compensation.

Have also been trying to reach desperately out for God. Begging him for some relief from the pain that comes on me, not only in my back but also my heart. Pain I cannot even identify the reason for.

Tonight, when reading through some of 1 Peter, this verse stuck out:

5:8-11 - Be self-controlled and vigilant always, for your enemy the devil is always about, prowling like a lion roaring for its prey. 
Resist him, standing firm in your faith and remember that the strain is the same for all your fellow-Christians in other parts of the world.
And after you have borne these sufferings a very little while, 
God himself (from whom we receive all grace 
and who has called you to share his eternal splendor through Christ) 
will make you whole and secure and strong. 
All power is his for ever and ever, amen!

So that's something to hold onto. 
And there's a verse that ends Psalm 40, where David says, "I need your help, I'm really struggling. For God's sake, don't delay."

So that is the current mantra of my heart:
"I need your help, God. I'm really struggling. For God's sake, don't delay."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

All the Nutella I Can Eat

A friend of mine decided to ring tonight as I was glued to about the fiftieth episode of Scrubs.

I kinda have desperately been needing a friend to talk to, but at the same time, rejecting human contact, so I begrudgingly answered, and maybe hoped it wouldn't last long.

But it was really cool. After I admitted all the freak-outs contained in my synapses,  he calmly pointed out where my world-view has been pretty screwed, and told me in the nicest way possible how ungrateful I've been being.

So true. And slightly embarrassing to admit, but it's true.

Yeah, maybe I have had almost no money for a while. But neither have I had to miss out on anything. My friends take me out and flippin' pay for me to have tea with them, or coffee. How kind is that?

And yeah, my back has been so durn sore. But God gave me a Mum who patiently rubs it as many times a day as I need. And a pool to do exercises in. And a mini boom-box, so I can dogpaddle to a bit of Taio Cruz. And maybe all the Nutella I can eat.

So whilst I've been feeling so deserted and empty, maybe God has been moving all around me. You know, patiently demonstrating:

"It's okay, we'll get through this. One thing at a time. I'm not going anywhere."

My friend quoted Luke 11, where Jesus says:

10-13"Don't bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. 
This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we're in. 

If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider?

 As bad as you are, you wouldn't think of such a thing—you're at least decent to your own children. 
And don't you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?"

So it was an encouraging phone call. 

I guess I do have to still go over this wave of stress, busyness and hard work. But I guess also, I have a dad who is lifting me up when the waves come, so I don't drown 
(though I may get a mouthful of salt).

Come to think of it, even though I haven't asked for an egg, I have been tricked with a spider recently....