Thursday, March 31, 2011

Am I Just All Talk?

I have spent the last few months thinking, praying, talking and writing about getting outside the walls of my church and actually being the church. I have talked boldly of stepping out and being God's hands and feet. I have written down words I hope inspire me and others to not just sit in our comfy pews on Sunday's but to be active.

I even wrote a post about sacrifice costing us. It was my last blog post actually where I quoted King David saying that he would not make a sacrifice that wouldn't cost him.

Interesting how God will often see if we are just all words!

Dave received a call from a friend at the start of this week. This is a family who have been going through a really rough path for the last few months. She is planning on moving states and taking her younger children with her, but her older son is studying at a local tafe and will be staying here. We have been trying to help support this family during their trial in a number of ways, but hadn't heard from them for a few weeks.

In a nutshell this is what the phone call was about; they need a place for their son to stay, and were wondering if we would be happy to have him come live with us.

Well in theory, yes we would. But how will it affect our lives? Will it cost us money to have him there? How will we fit all our stuff from the study in the spare room so we have space for him? Would it be uncomfortable for us all?

All these thoughts popped into my head. And then so did the though "Am I just all talk?"

Later that night I was reading my Bible in bed. I came across these verses.

"If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?  Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth". 1 John 3:17-18

I have possessions - more really than I need. I have a house, and spare rooms, and Dave got a pay rise, and..... I really have no good reason not to say yes

I don't want to just be all talk. Faith without deeds is dead. If I have, then God has blessed me for a reason, and not just so I can have more.

We are, of course, praying about God's plan in all this, and working on a solution that works for everyone involved, but we will definitely do something.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I meant to write about this during the week, but I completely forgot!

Kawangware (said: cow-an-gwar-e) is a slum in Kenya, Nairobi. There is an estimated 400,000 people living there in approximately 4 square KM.

A number of years ago, one of the pastors (John Leach) of our church became aware of a church, the Christ's Restoration Centre (CRC) Church, in Kawangware, and since 2004 our church (Barrabool Hills) has been working in partnership with CRC on a number of projects.

CRC has some land within Kawangware and on this land they have a church building, a well, a toilet block and a school. In 2007 the first free medical clinic took place.

Every year since then our church has held a fundraiser to support the medical clinic. It started out as the K15,000. The idea is that a bunch of people volunteer to exercise throughout the month of March and others provide financial sponsorship while they do it. Every year my Dad and pastor John have cycled to raise funds and this year was no different.

This year the aim is to raise $30,000 (last year raised over $26,000)

What does $30,000 provide?
  • a minimum of 6 clinics staffed by trained medical teams
  • approx. 7,500 patients having the opportunity to be seen by the clinic doctors
  • prescribed medication for patients
  • medication for things such as worms for all who attend 
  • testing and counselling for diseases such as HIV/Aids
  • instruction in health and hygiene
  • people hearing the gospel message and receiving prayer
  • limited follow-up care for some extreme cases (if money stretches).

Every dollar spent means blessing a person/family who wouldn't normally be able to afford the care provided through the clinics.

Last weekend dad and pastor John set up their bikes in one of the downstairs rooms at church and prepared for a 24 hour marathon of cycling. They each planned to ride 500km over the 24 hours.

While they were inside cycling away, there was a group of girls set up outside with a couple of trampolines set up to jump for 24 hours! Larissa and another youth leader had organised with four of their youth girls to jump on a trampoline for 24 hours from 6pm Friday night until 6pm on Saturday night. They had even organised for a local company to donate a trampoline to them, and they were written about in the local paper!

By 1pm Saturday Dad and John had finished their 500km each, so they got to head home for a rest while the girls kept jumping. The girls wrapped things up at 6pm after jumping all though the night, and it was a cold night!

1 Chronicles 21:24
'But King David replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying the full price. I will not take for the LORD what is yours, or sacrifice a burnt offering that costs me nothing.”'

All these people gave up their sleep and their time for 24hours to give to those they will never meet in this life, to give to people they don't know who live on the other side of the world. That is Christ's church at work!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Enough for Now

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105

I am so glad that He only lights my path and not the whole journey! In my last post I mentioned that I had so much to write that I just couldn’t write anything. It was like when you really need to cry, but you’re too scared to, because you’re worried that if you start you won’t be able to stop.

That’s how I felt about writing yesterday. If I had written, it would have turned into an essay! A big one. God is taking Dave and I in a new direction, down a new path and there is so much to process.

I am a planner. I make insane amounts of lists. I like to know exactly where I am going, how I am going to get there and all the little stops on along the way. But sometimes, God’s plans for us can be a little overwhelming, and when I think too much about what He might want me to be doing, when I try to see too far down the path He has me on, I have a brain explosion.

That’s where I was the other day. And then I thought of the verse in Psalm 119. I don’t need to try and plan. I don’t need to know everything. I need to trust.

I need to trust that God will make known to me where my next step is to go. I need to trust that He will work everything in His perfect time and that what He shows me is enough for now.

Image found here

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I have few words today. Actually I have an overload, and I can't condense down what I want to say into a palatable blog post length, so I decided to not say much at all, just put up some photo's I've taken over the last few days.

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Direction

I have been on my church’s music team for the last three years. Last night I told the ministry leader that I had made the decision to step away from this particular ministry indefinitely.

My heart over the last six months or so has been steadily drawn towards people in this world whose lives are not as comfortable as my own.

It all started by coming across a number of adoption blogs, and watching adoption videos. The passion the adoptive families have, not just about adoption, but about making a life changing difference in people’s lives has had a big impact on my personal walk.

I grew up in a middle class family. The church we attend is probably 99% upper middle class families and individuals. I go to church in our million dollar building on Sundays, wearing my nice clothes, driving my nice, newish car, and park next to all the other nice new cars. We are able to read the songs from the thousand dollar projector screens, and listen through the fancy PA system.

Once the service is over, we go out to the cafe and order coffee’s and cakes, and can watch Christian music videos on the three LCD TV’s hanging on the walls. We are then able to go out for lunch in nice restaurants and enjoy the freedom we have.

I’m not saying those things are bad, but if we choose to act as though this is the only way people live then we are really seeing the world with skewed vision.

James 1:27 says this.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

I truly believe that my thinking has been polluted by the world for a long time now. In my mind the most important things have been buying a house, getting a new car for me, keeping up with the latest fashion, etc, etc.

These thoughts at times have consumed me and been a barrier to my spiritual growth. I truly feel that God is awakening my soul to the hunger (both physical and spiritual) that exists in this world. My hunger for material things was never satisfied when that was all I focused on.

Once I started to shift my thinking to those in need, when I allowed God to speak to my heart about what is important to His heart I became completely satisfied with the material possessions I already had. In fact I have thought about going through our cupboards and getting rid of a whole lot of things we just don’t use.

I think by freeing up the time that I put into the music team I am giving God that extra time to do with it what He will. I feel free to give my time to ministry that reaches further than the walls of our church building.

Thailand missions trip 2006

It’s pretty exciting when God is moving you in a new direction. Has He moved you in a new way recently?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Labour Day Long Weekend

I am back at work today, following a lovely long weekend.

The weather couldn't have been better, so Dave and I spent quite a bit of time outside in an attempt to make our yard look less jungle-like! While I think we made a good start to it there are still some seriously over-grown shrubs in our yard!

One of my biggest reasons for wanting to get into the garden this weekend was because of the insane number of spiders we have had this year. They give me the serious creeps. I'm shuddering, just thinking about them.

On Saturday, following some of our gardening, we stopped over at the Lum's for what was going to be a brief visit, but we ended up staying for dinner, which is always a pleasure!

As we were walking out the door, Cheryl noticed a big wolf spider of the wall. Me, being very brave, went straight back inside, while the guys killed it.

Dave and I were only just down the road when Dave noticed we had a little traveller with us - another wolf spider! We freaked for a few seconds, and then realised it was on the outside of the car.

I however, was still not happy to have him riding with us, even if he was on the outside! It was the longest drive ever.

Dave managed to save the day (well, night!), but I checked every room of the house before I went to bed!

Sunday was a lovely lazy day. We had church in the morning, and had a quick bite to eat with friends. We then went home and fluffed around all afternoon and evening.

On Monday, we got stuck into the garden again. Dave really went to town on the two trees in the front yard and chopped off heaps of low hanging branches. We also uncovered our meter at the side of the house. I'm sure that the gas and electricity company haven't read our meter for at least 18 months!

Dave was feeling very hospitable, so we had a small group of friends over for a BBQ dinner and a lively game of "Spicy Farkel!"

Ben and Lydia put on a hilarious, if not completely random, little performance for us!

It was so nice to have an extra day off, and we were blessed with lovely weather! We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Adoption Video

I keep coming across videos of people collecting their adoptive children.

These "gotch day" videos just break my heart. In a good way. The best kind of way.

This one had me crying my eyes out tonight. When the mum started crying in the images... oh, break my heart into tiny pieces!

I dare you to watch and not be moved!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sick and a new toy!!

This week started with me having two days off from work! Sunday night my throat started to have a bit of a tickle to it, but then Monday morning I woke up to no voice. I managed to croak out a messgae to my boss that I wouldn't be in for work, got myself to the doctors and then went back to bed!

I went back to work on Wednesday, but I had managed to share my germs with Dave and so he was then home sick Thursday and Friday!

We were both still not feeling great on Saturday, but I had seen an add on TV for a camera sale. We had been talking about getting a DSLR camera to take to America with us, so when I saw SALE, I knew we had to go shopping.

I spent a bit of time on the internet looking up a few camera places to see what kind of deal we could get, then we headed out to shop.

We went straight to Camera House, and they had a package deal going for the Nikon D3100, so we bought it!!

Our new baby:

We then spent a little time playing around with it, taking a few random photos, having no real idea what we were doing. (Actually, Dave had some idea. Me, not so much!)

Here are some of day one with Nik (Yep, I named our camera! Not a very creative name I will admit.)

The very first picture. Wow, right?!

Dave took this!

Day two with "Nik"

These are taken on the Geelong waterfront

Dave again!

Our Lunch

Can you tell we were excited?!

The cutest puppy around! He's a bit camera shy though.

Huxley is just so stinkin' cute!!

So, we are clearly novices. Heck, I spent half an hour reading the Pioneer Woman's posts about aperture, and I still have no idea what that really means!

We are, however, super excited to have a really good camera for America, and for when we have kids in the next few years.

hopefully we can have some really good photos soon.

Anyone know of some good tutorials on basic camera/photography jargon?