Friday, August 29, 2014

Truth in Love

Our society seems to think that being a good friend means telling your friends how 'awesome' they are, patting them on the back...even when they make some really bad life decisions.  It means saying nothing when an abusive friend constantly uses you as their personal punching bag.  It means lending them money when you know they'll waste it, letting them drive home when they're drunk, lying for them to cover up something dodgy....

If you believe those 'shared' forward thingies on Facebook, a true friend will help you hide the body if you commit a murder.


Sometimes the best kind of friend is the one who'll give you a kick up the bum when you need the nicest possible way.  A true friend has the guts to say what needs to be said out of their love and concern for you.  Because they're your friend, they're NOT just going to sit back and watch you flush your life down the toilet...or help you do it.

Now, I'm not saying that 'speaking the truth in love' means voicing whatever thoughts and opinions you've held deep down about your friend.  It doesn't mean telling them green is so not their colour.  It doesn't mean telling them they have a big pimple on their nose (they probably know that anyway).  It doesn't mean finding every little fault.

It's about the big things.  For Christians, it's about living to bring glory to Jesus in all areas of life.  Let's face it, we all suck at it at times and need some help.  That's why God gave us the church.  We all have blind spots.  We all need someone to gently point out serious things to us.

I dislike confrontation as much as the next person and I don't get my jollies out of people pointing out my faults.  I remember when my housemate pointed out that I was watching too much TV.  It was 2005, the year after I'd finished uni, and I was just so elated to come home from work and NOT spend my evenings studying, that I kind of became a bit addicted to the box.  She had the guts to gently point this out to me.  And because she was gentle, I listened.  She was right.  I was wasting so much time and hadn't really noticed. 

Yay for friends like that.  Yay for friends who have the courage to do and say what's best for us, out of their love for us.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Bible Verse of the Day

Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
Proverbs 27:6

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Pendulum: Tattoos

I wore fake tattoo sleeves for the play...I think this is why I'm thinking about this topic.  A lot of people in town don't know me and thought the tattoos were real.  When they found out I'm a Christian, they were surprised.

It's amazing how many Christians think that to be a Christian you have to be anti-tattoos.  They quote Leviticus 19:28 to back up their position:

Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the Lord.

But that doesn't wash with meIf you're going to say that verse is binding for Christians today then you also have to enforce laws such as not trimming your beard or wearing clothing made of two different types of material.

In context, the verse seems to be about God's people, Israel, not practising divination.  So, any tattoos with links to Satan or the occult is obviously not on for Christians today.

I think the conservative objections to tattoos seem to be more cultural than scriptural.  There seems to be a consensus among older Christians that being a Christian is to be 'anti-scruffiness', which includes long hair for guys, dreadlocks, dyed hair, piercings...and tattoos.

My personal view is that tattoos are a wisdom issue.  I don't encourage people to get tattoos, and I don't think Christians need to get inked in order to relate to non-Christians.  Some tattoos look great and others look tacky.  Before getting a tattoo, everyone should ask themselves the following questions:
  • Will you regret this in later years?  Will this tattoo look ridiculous on an older person?  What about when you get wrinkly?  Tattoos are permanent.  Yes, you can get them lasered off, but that is expensive.
  • Is it a wise use of money?  Getting a tattoo isn't cheap.  If you think about eternity, could your money be better spent on something else (that applies to lots of things)?  It's amazing the amount of people who complain about having no money, but always seem to find the money for tattoos.  Hmmm.
  •  What is it you're getting tattooed?  Who is the tattooist?  Don't get something dodgy or done by someone who is heavily into the occult.  What does the tattoo show about who you are?  I think it's unwise for women to get tattoos somewhere that is 'suggestive' (i.e. the top of their breast) and then complain about men ogling at it.  Having a Bible verse tattooed may help you remember it, and may open doors for interesting conversations with non-Christians, but there are plenty of other ways to memorise Bible verses and start conversations.
  • Will the tattoo hinder you getting a job?  I personally don't care if someone with tattoos and piercings serves me; I care more about whether they are polite and helpful, rather than what they look like.  Not all employers see it that way though.
I don't think Christians should be judged for having tattoos any more than they should for having pierced ears or using hair dye to cover up greys. I've considered getting one, but I won't because there's nothing that I can think of that I'd want tattooed.  Also, I couldn't stand the pain!

What are your personal views on tattoos?

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Play

My character, Mia.  Muahaha do you like my transformation?

Here are some more photos courtesy of the director and a sneaky friend of mine:

Monday, August 18, 2014


The play's over and it was a big success!

I'll be back with those promised photos, a detailed account, and lots of (hopefully) juicy posts after I take another blogging hiatus.

I'm off to Albany with Rory for a few days R&R.

See you next week when, God willing, I'm feeling a little more with-it and a little less exhausted.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Pendulum: The Bible Says This....But Also This

Back to the topic of judging, there are a lot of passages that are constantly quoted (usually when someone is annoyed that their dodgy actions are being questioned), but others seem to be ignored.

The Bible says:
Do not judge, or you too will be judged. - Matthew 7:1

But it also says:
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. "Expel the wicked person from among you." - 1 Corinthians 5:12-13

Jesus said:
"Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her." - John 8:7

But He also said:
"Go now and leave your life of sin." - John 8:11

The Bible says:
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. - 1 John 1:9

But it also says:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? - Romans 6:1-2

The Bible says:
Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only. - Luke 4:8

But it also says:
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established.  The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves. - Romans 13:1-2

The Bible does not contradict itself. All of these truths go together.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

5 Favourite Robin Williams Movies

I'm still shocked and saddened by the death of Robin Williams, believed to be by suicide due to depression.  He was a true comedian and a brilliant actor. It shows that we need to have R U Ok? Day every day and not just once a year. Just because someone has a sense of humour and can make other people laugh, doesn't mean they are immune to depression.

I think I will have a Robin Williams movie fest over the coming weeks. We own the first four of my Top 5.

1. Mrs Doubtfire

2.  Jumanji

3.  Patch Adams

4.  Hook

5.  Aladdin

Which are your five favourite Robin Williams movies?

Monday, August 11, 2014

You're Judging Me...

You're so judgemental...
Judge and you will be judged...

One only has to log in to Facebook and there's bound to be a number of statuses in which the person is claiming they feel 'judged'.  But like many words in the English language, 'judging' seems to have lost its original meaning.

I'm not sure I know what it means either, but I know what it's not.

Today, to judge someone seems to merely mean you disagree with them.  Or you haven't told them they're 'awesome' for the poor decisions they're making.  It doesn't even have to mean that someone has directly confronted them either; it could just mean someone has shared something on Facebook which has pricked their conscience, and now they feel 'judged'.

And it seems that just as many Christians as non-Christians misquote the Bible when they feel 'judged'.  In the end, to them, the Bible passages on judging others look something like this:

But the Bible is not anti-judging.  We are told that God is our judge and that He is the only one who judges righteously and fairly.  We are all sinful and therefore flawed in our judgement of ourselves and others.  But 1 Corinthians 5 shows us that there IS a place for Christians judging one another.  We are to judge those inside the church (our brothers and sisters in Christ), but we are not judge the world (non-Christians).
What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you." - 1 Corinthians 5:12-13
Judging may seem harsh, but it is for God's glory, our love for the person, and the health of the church.  Judging is done out of love with the hope that they will stop what they're doing and turn back (in the case of 1 Corinthians 5, sexual immorality).

Matthew 7, the passage so famously quoted as being anti-judging, is saying do not judge hypocritically.  It is not saying do not ever speak up against serious sin, but that you look at yourself soberly first, making sure you are not committing the very sin you are accusing your brother or sister of.
You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. - Matthew 7:5

No-one likes to be confronted about their behaviour, even if they know it is wrong.  I certainly don't want to be criticised for every little thing.  Obviously there are cults out there that do this very badly.  I think we need to be very careful when confronting others, asking ourselves if the person is actually sinning, or just doing something differently to us.  There is way to go about doing it, gently and wisely.  Like a court judge does not make a judgement before he/she has all of the facts, neither should we.

But the present climate seems to be that everyone just does what they want, and if you're a good friend you'll just pat them on the back, no matter what.  No-one is allowed to disagree or speak up because we're all imperfect.  I don't like confrontation, but that doesn't sit well with me at all.

My thought processes feel very undeveloped at this stage.  Has anyone got anything on judging they would like to add?

Friday, August 08, 2014

Break a Leg

Tonight was the opening night of the play I'm in.  I think it went quite well and the audience seemed to enjoy it, which is the main thing.

Eeek! It was such fun and such a buzz.

Tomorrow night I have friends from Albany and the farm coming to see it.

One show down...three to go.

Stay tuned for pics next week...

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Dead Sheep

I went for a walk with Rory and the dogs this morning, and came across a dead sheep in the paddock near our driveway. It had died in labour and I could see the dead lamb's head and hooves poking out. The sight broke my heart.  Yes, it's just a sheep. Yes, this is a common occurrence during lambing season. But I felt for the poor creature. Then I thought about how glad I am to be human and to live at this point in time in Australia.

How are blessed are we to have medical intervention so easily available in this country! In this age of obstetricians, c-sections, epidurals, and foetal monitors we can forget that labour is still a risky process if you're an animal, or a person in a developing country. I had an emergency c-section and if I lived long ago, Rory and I may both well have died.

Personally I think too many women in Australia approach labour wanting a perfect birthing experience. We tend to get shocked and disappointed when things don't go to plan. Despite the advances in medical care, birth is still risky. We live in a fallen world where producing children is hard.

I feel so sad for that poor ewe and her lamb....but I am thankful.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Swimming Against the Christian Tide

I remember when I first became a Christian....I read 1 Peter 4:3-4 and it shocked me!  Here was clear evidence that the Bible was not an outdated book of fairytales; it was real life.  It so perfectly described the uni and student housing environment that I was in at the time.

Since reading those verses, I've learnt not to be surprised when non-Christians mock me for not drinking, or speeding, or sleeping around.  It's not that I'm better than them, but Christ has changed me.  There's no way anyone can encounter the living Christ and not be transformed.  I expect to feel like the alien, the odd-bod, the square, the goody two-shoes, the boring old Nanna while I'm living in a world that is not my home.

What I didn't expect was that I'd often feel the same way in the company of some Christians!

I've been ridiculed and pressured for wanting to drive at the speed limit, not drinking to excess, or drinking before I drive (I actually haven't had any alcohol since I became pregnant with Rory...and don't miss it), being honest on my tax return, trying to tell the truth at all times, trying not to swear...I could go on.

This has been heartbreaking.  I'm not perfect, no-one is.  That's not the point.  If we're truly followers of Christ, then we've been washed clean.  Why deliberately jump into sin when His death for us was so costly for Him?  Why be a discouragement to others who are wanting to live God's way?

The world is a shiny, tempting place at times with lots of people who will be amused and offended at Christians wanting to swim in a different direction.  I just didn't expect some Christians to oppose and scoff at their brothers and sisters wanting to swim upstream.

I don't get it.  Please explain...

Monday, August 04, 2014

Bible Verse of the Day

For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do - living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.  They are surprised that you do not join them in their reckless, wild living, and they heap abuse on you.
1 Peter 4:3-4

Friday, August 01, 2014

Friday Funny


Repeat after me: I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will never complain about my job ever again.

I will NEVER complain about my job EVER AGAIN!