Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Why the Resurrection?

Another book that has dwelt in my bookcase for a long time before finally being read.  It got its chance this Easter.

This book is short and easily readable in one sitting (77 pages), but it took me several in this stage of my life.  I thought it would be a useful resource to give to interested non-Christians, seeing as the resurrection is a stumbling block to faith for some.  However, after reading it, it seems it's actually for Christians!  It does provide evidence for the resurrection and debunks some of the popular objections (Jesus wasn't really dead, the disciples stole the body etc.), but it seems to be more of a glossary, providing lists and tables of the key people, events and prophecies fulfilled by the resurrection.

Overall, I didn't think it really taught me anything I didn't already know, and I found the notes next to each person's name telling me to check the 'People of the Resurrection' page really annoying and distracting.

If you're a new Christian, it's probably helpful.
If you're an established Christian, it'd be better to read something more in-depth.
If you're looking for an evangelistic book, there would be more appropriate ones out there.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Just Be Held by Casting Crowns

I couldn't find more appropriate lyrics for how I feel right now:

Hold it all together, 
Everybody needs you strong,
But life hits you out of nowhere,
And barely leaves you hanging on.

And when you're tired of fighting,
Chained by your control,
There's freedom in surrender,
Lay it down and let it go.

So, when you're on your knees,
And answers seem so far away,
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held.
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place.
I'm on the throne, stop holding on, and just be held.
Just be held.
Just be held.

If your eyes are on the storm,
You'll wonder if I love you still,
But if your eyes are on the cross,
You'll know I always have, and always will.

And not a tear is wasted,
In time you'll understand,
I'm painting beauty with the ashes,
Your life is in My hands.

Lift your hands, lift your eyes,
In the storm is where you'll find Me,
And where you are, I'll hold your heart,
I'll hold your heart.
Come to Me, find your rest,
In the arms of the God who won't let go.

Lyrics from here

Monday, March 28, 2016

Quote of the Day

The resurrection is not the end. It is the beginning of all things being restored.
- Tim Keller

Friday, March 25, 2016

Bible Verse of the Day

Surely He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered Him punished by God, stricken by Him and afflicted.  But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.  We all, like sheep, have gone astray; each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:4-6

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Three Days to Go

The campaign to go one better begins...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Curse is Broken

After four consecutive years for which the 13th March was a crappy day for me, I'm pleased to report that the 13th March 2016 was good.

It wasn't amazing, but it certainly wasn't bad.

It was just ok.


Monday, March 14, 2016

What Happened to that Youthful Zeal?

When I was a university student, I often found myself a little overwhelmed by the youthful passion of some of my Christian peers. Maybe it was because I was a new Christian and still figuring out what it meant to live for Christ? Maybe it was a personality thing? There was certainly a vibe around the Christian Union that if your faith was sincere, the way to show it was to go into full-time ministry, whether it was studying at Bible college, doing a ministry traineeship, or missionary service overseas.  It seemed that I was the only one who didn't have these plans.

Fast forward 12 years since I graduated from uni......some of those people have become full-time paid  gospel workers, or at least did for some of that time. But many others have gone into secular employment, married and had children, and live fairly ordinary lives in suburbia. When we were in our late teens and early twenties, it seemed like we had so much energy. So many Christian young adults volunteered repeatedly on camps, mission trips, and for church activities. Why weren't people with kids doing as much 'stuff' as us? Why did they seem so tired? Where was their passion for Christ?

In the past 12 years I've watched some of those young adults experience health issues such as depression, arthritis, heart conditions, miscarriage, infertility, and various injuries. They've lost loved ones, dealt with loneliness, experienced financial hardship, conflict in relationships, and faced the everyday grind of parenting. I've experienced some of the same. We're older and tireder.

So, why do some Christian young adults end up going in different directions from what they had intended at uni? Does the fact that some didn't end up in full-time paid ministry mean Satan has had a victory? Have the weeds of life grown up and choked their fruitfulness?

The answer is that life happened. Life is painful. Life is hard. Our bodies face decay in this world. Once you leave the university environment it becomes painfully clear HOW MANY people need Christ.

But although outwardly we may be wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day. I've seen that in my peers. The zeal is still there, but it's now coupled with wisdom, which comes from age and experience. The rose-coloured glasses have been removed. They witness in their families, their workplaces, in their children's schools.

They are still Christian and God is using them. I praise the Lord for that.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

So Young by The Corrs

Ah the energy that comes from youth.  This is what it felt like back in the day.

We are taking it easy,
Bright and breezy, yeah.
We are living it up,
Just fine and dandy, yeah.

We are chasing the moon, 
Just running wild and free. 
We are following through,
Every dream and every need.

And it really doesn't matter that we don't eat,
And it really doesn't matter if we get no sleep.
No, it really doesn't matter, really doesn't matter at all.

'Cos we are so young now, we are so young, so young now.
And when tomorrow comes we can do it all again.

Lyrics from here.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

From Head to Hand: It's Ok to Specialise...or Not

When people find out I'm a writer, they often assume I can write anything.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  I suck at poetry and I never took any poetry units at uni because of this.  I did a feature writing unit only to find it very difficult.  Short stories are a struggle for me, because of the word limits.

I'm a novel writer.  I did a children's fiction unit at uni and really enjoyed it.  I'd quite like to dabble in children's books at some stage.  Even if I decide to ONLY be a novel writer, that's ok.

Then I get the people who assume because I'm a creative writer that I'm creative in other areas.  Drama, yes.  Sadly, I suck at music, sewing, knitting, painting, drawing, crafty projects, graphic design, and cake decorating.

Sometimes there is the pressure to be broadly talented.  Others face pressure to specialise when they're not really sure which direction they want to take their work in; they just like experimenting and dabbling.  They don't want to be known as the 'charcoal artist', or the 'scrapbooker', or the 'poet'.

Just because you're a creative person, doesn't mean you need to be talented at all things creative.

I'm a novel writer...and a blogger.....and possibly a children's writer....and that's ok. 

It's ok to specialise...or not.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Quote of the Day

Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those who sang best.
- Henry Van Dyke

Friday, March 04, 2016

Friday Funny


A paraprisdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected; frequently used in a humorous situation. "Where there's a will, I want to be in it," is a type of paraprisdokian.

1. Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

2. Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

3. Evening news is where they begin with, "Good evening," and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

4. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

5. Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, 'In case of emergency, notify:' I put 'Doctor'.

6. You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

7. I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure.

8. Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

9. Where there's a will, there's relatives.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

New Song in My Heart by Rob Smith

My prayer at the moment...

Put a new song in my heart,
Let me hear the praises start,
Dispel the night,
And give me light again.

Put a new thought in my mind,
Help me leave the past behind,
And break these chains,
That I might live again.

Lift my fallen face,
And help me to stand,
Flood me with the grace,
That comes from Your hand,
Cleanse me from my sin,
Lord, forgive me again,
That I might be Yours alone.

Put a new fire in my soul,
Make this wounded spirit whole,
And help me see,
That I am free again.

Let these broken bones,
Rise up and rejoice,
Bring this captive home,
And lift up my voice,
Help my spirit sing,
Now to Jesus my king,
For He has forgiven me.

Lyrics from here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Going Downhill

Today I had a follow-up appointment with our nearest mental health service. It couldn't have come soon enough as I've been going downhill during the last month or so. The bad days have become more frequent, I feel overwhelmed and unable to cope with daily tasks and stresses, and, to be frank, I've wanted to end it all. I'm probably on par with how I was when I first went to hospital, but I don't want to be readmitted. It would break Rory's heart. I can't do that to him.

My medication is getting increased and I'll have a mental health nurse visiting me weekly at home, but, other than that, there's not much more they can do. There's just no other support available locally. I really need in-house help, but there's no-one.

I feel angry. I don't want to move to Perth, but I want the support services that my MBU friends get. I don't have the energy required to move to the city, but I can't see how I'll ever get well out here.