Monday, October 12, 2009

Oh yeh...

... on a lighter/delayed note from the taxi incidents*, these things also happened, or are happening:
  • I turned 21! Much fun. Now I am eligible for adulthood everywhere. By which I mean, humiliating ID checks and refusals to belive I am 14+. Here's a photo from the festivities, the rest can be found on my Facebook.
  • I was a church leader on IMMERSE, camp for youth in high school, looking at the story of God and where it intersects or is completely part of our story. Was great times, both because it was a chance to get to know some of the Doncaster kids I haven't had much interaction with, but also some good reflection time for myself too.The final night was also an excuse for me to dress up as Marty McFly...who not every child knew. I'm angry and outraged that the youth I lead don't know Power Rangers, Asterix, Captain Planet, Back to the Future, Bill & Ted, Bangers and Mash, Aaah! Real Monsters, and pretty much every cartoon that has made me the childish person I am today.
  • Thinking about next year has started. I'm three essays, an exam and a class test away from graduating.
  • I've been having a few chats with some people about a new MPH campaign road trip next year. Shall see if I'm involved or not down the track.
  • I've also had a few meetings with church people/college people, and it's currently looking like I'll be doing a Masters of Divinity with Honours at CCTC next year. I'm excited to be studying something different, and getting the theological grounding I need for all the field experience stuff I'm already doing.
  • Lots of disasters. Devastating to hear about all our friends in the Philippines battling through cleaning and re-building. Still praying.
Ruined stuff and mud at the IN Compound after the floods in Manila.
  • The birth of the KittenZ!: Doncaster's newest basketball club. First game is tonight and I could not be more excited.

Vicious.

* Still no follow-up from the company to complaints. Incredible work taxi company.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eat Me Taxis

Sunday was fun, I had lunch with Sime and the Veta girls, then basketball and a chat at Garage, then Church, then out for dinner and a movie with people. Dinner was good, movie was great. It was the first actual movie I'd gone to see in 3D, so that was a bit fun.

My frustration comes from the end of the night. A guy named John has recently started coming to our church. John is funny and I enjoy trading jokes with him. John has cerebral palsy, and is in a wheelchair. It's not a big deal. Except for when we are out at night, because it means taxis, which for the last two weekends in a row, has meant ridiculously long waits for a taxi to come.

Last Saturday, after the trivia night for the Philippines mission (raised over $2800!), we rang for John's taxi at 10pm. It came at 12:30pm. By then, there was just two others and I waiting with him. We had rung the taxi service many, many times. We had been hung up on; put indefinitely on hold; and told to wait "15 more minutes" many, many times. Around 12pm, I managed to finally get through after a series of ignored calls. When I explained the situation - that they had made John and us wait for two hours - they re-checked the list. We weren't on it. They checked past trips. We were there, under regular taxi. They had sent a regular taxi to us. We didn't go to hail it down, because we were expecting a freaking wheelchair taxi. The lady who took the original order did not tick 'Wheelchair' on the order form, which cost us two and a half hours. It turns out we had spoken to the other taxi driver (in the normal car) before. Amy had chased it down and asked if he could contact the headquarters for us and explained the situation. He said it wasn't his problem and couldn't do anything about it, then drove off.

Then Sunday night, we rang the service after the movie. I was actually dreading it. I got through, ordered the cab, emphasised wheelchair, and they said, "Yeh, no worries, we'll be there in 10. Top of Shoppingtown, movie entrance." That was 11pm.

At 11:30pm, we ring again, just to see what's happening. They say they're having trouble locating a wheelchair vehicle, and if nothing has come in 15 minutes, call again. You'd think they'd be the ones most necessary to be available, but then again, maybe that speaks something about how willing they are to provide services to the less able. 15 minutes later, we call again. Hung up on.

Half an hour later, now midnight, we get through. "Hi! You can go outside now, the taxi should be there, he says he's at the movie entrance."... He was not. We were now locked out of the building and in the cold car park. We ring back the taxi company. Hung up on.

We get another call. "Where are you? The taxi driver says he is there and you haven't showed up." "I tell them we are at the top of the shopping centre at the movie entrance, and the taxi driver isn't where he says he is. The dispatch calls the taxi driver. He says he is not, in fact, at the movie entrance, but at the post office... three levels down and on the other side of the shopping centre. He says he is not coming up the top, we have to come to him. He says there is no height access for his vehicle. We are all stressed and angry. We bang on the windows, shout, run around the car park trying to find an entrance, because it's not going to be possible to get John to the street level unless we dangerously carry him down many flights of stairs.

We get back into the centre when one of the other movies finishes. It's around 12:30pm. We get in the lift, go across the shopping centre, into the car park and out to the taxi. He's hanging in there with a dude, smoking cigarettes. When we approach, dude gets out, shakes taxi driver's hand, wanders off. Taxi driver gets out, says, "Where you been?" and I almost lost it. We get John in the taxi, I wander back to the others holding the door of the centre open for me. We meet up with some of the others, who managed to get in another way finding a security lady. The lady tells us the driver is full of crap, and that if he had come in the way we told him, there would definitely be height access. He just got the place wrong and parked there.

As I drove home, I could not have been closer to breaking point. The emotions of a couple of stressful weeks, added to all my anger and frustration at the taxis had me closer to tears than I've been in a long time. I was also angry at myself, for being so frustrated, and because I was imagining what it would be like if we included John in everything, and had to therefore deal with the frustration of the taxis every week. In all honesty, I was also feeling frustrated at how those who had waited had to give up their time, money (a few of us paid for John's movie, snacks, and the calls to the taxi service, because he forgot to bring that money), and energy. I was frustrated that I had to. I was feeling selfish and this just added to everything else. How do I show love to someone, which I want to do so badly, but when it takes so much away from me? Can I do it? Am I just being selfish, do I just need to suck it up? I went to bed confused, sad, annoyed at my selfish thoughts, furious with the taxi's treatment of customers, and completely drained.

I haven't had much time to think more about my questions about showing that love. All I know is, taxi service has made me angry and question how well our society is built to properly care for people like John. I have lodged a complaint. We'll wait and see what happens.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Awkward Dia(b)log

So, um. Hey, Blogspot. How's it goin? Long time no see. Oh, me? Yeh I'm fine, just been busy you know.. uni, church stuff, basketball, life.

...Yeh, so sorry I haven't seen you much lately, just had so much on my plate. I've been organising my 21st, trying to start some assignments, getting busier with the ministry stuff. My cousins came over from Singapore, we went rockclimbing, I learnt to rollerblade. K and I hit 4 years.

Yeh, I know, I've saved a million drafts, I just never get round to finishing them, you know? And I want to respect you, Blogspot, and that's why I save them until I get the chance to make them better. I would never post sub-par rubbish on you. What? What do you mean most of my stuff is nonsense? I don't like your tone Blogspot. Or your font selection, for that matter.

I think it's clear we've come to a cross-roads. I don't think we can be friends anymore - reality or virtual. So let's just remember the mediocre times we had and move on. Probably won't be seeing you round mate.

...Oh, what?! You're expecting? Are you sure? And you're sure that post is mine?... ah, crap. Alright. See you next week then.

Good News of the Week

I'm studying issues of poverty, foreign aid, global disaster, and development this semester. They're things that I'm absolutely interested in. Unfortunately, university is the great optimism killer. It's hard to sit in classes where the discussion seems mostly about the inevitability of a million more devastating influenzas or the doomed status of any projects of development and aid, or where projects that I've been involved in, like Make Poverty History, get shot to pieces. It's definitely made me wonder how much I've thought about the negatives of those sorts of movements, or in what ways my involvement in them or things like Africa Aid might have been more harmful than good...important reflective thinking, but too much of it can just kill you. I think it's important to maintain some sense of idealism or, at least, optimism - even if for the sake of your own sanity. I refuse to believe that there is no hope for the Third World (or however you wish to classify the poor), or that there is nothing good about the Western world I live in.

So. Here's a little bit of good news. Cadbury's going global on Fairtrade chocolates. While I, admittedly, still have much to learn about Fairtrade and it's possible pitfalls, I still think that this is a positive move that will hopefully benefit some small group of people in need of more work and sale opportunities.

Bite me uni.

Friday, June 19, 2009

There's a virtual skeleton in my closet

A recent conversation with someone about the Sims reminded me of some dark secrets from my past.

Is it sadistic that I hated Mortimer Goth? He was smug, he had more facial hair than me, he always wore a suit and my dude could only afford trackpants. He had his life together, he had a job, a wife, children. You know something's wrong when a virtual person is living better than you.

Look at him. What a jerk.

Today I remembered the last time I played the Sims. My little brother and I had fun hitting on Bella Goth and making friends with their children. Then, when he came and knocked on my Sim's door (which was pretty much everyday - Mortimer's probably the neediest friend you could have), I invited him into my fenced off backyard, built a wall around him and left him in there with only a plate of cookies and a pinball machine. Is that so wrong?

...Turns out yes, it was wrong. Eventually, he weed everywhere, threw many tantrums, kept passing out, and then died...all while I was practicing my cooking, and then throwing a party that Bella and the kids came to.

...I think I have problems. Ha.

Seriously though, what a fox.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

B Flat

This is an incredibly cool project. Worth letting them all load first and it helps to use someone else's fast internet, aka my university's. But I did actually spend an hour playing with this when I was meant to be studying. And what a glorious hour it was. It was like sleeping and listening to whale calls...exactly like that.

Also, that site led me to this video, which was also awesome. Music is the best.


Monday, June 01, 2009

Home Alone

Mum and Dad have gone away for about three weeks, meaning it's myself and two brothers at home. Standard of living decreases when they go away.
Day 1
Come home from uni. Jeremy (younger brother) and I watch Game 5 of one of the NBA Playoff serieses*. We had to make dinner, but the game went to overtime, so we kept watching. Got to 7:30pm, and we realised we had half an hour to have dinner and get to small group. Decided on grabbing something from the freezer and cooking it there. In the car, Jeremy was holding a box of dim sims and two scrunched up bits of paper towel. We cooked them at small group, ate them in ten minutes, felt oily and sick the rest of the evening.
That night, we came home from small group and realised all three of us had forgotten to bring in the washing Mum did before she left. Big brother was home the whole time we were out. It rained heavily on Wednesday... on writing this, the washing is still in the bathroom drying.
* I found a need to re-use a seemingly one-time-only tag!
Day 2
After tutoring my students in the afternoon, have to walk home. The usual 30 minute walk takes about twice that time in the heavy rain. Except the rain is too heavy, so I decide to walk to the bus stop and wait. I get home at 6:45pm. I finished tutoring at 5pm. My next tutoring session is at 7pm. I eat dinner at 9:30pm... fried rice. Most decent meal at home so far.
Day 3
Leave the house in evening to see a play, glad to avoid eating at home. Brothers asleep when I get home, boxes near bin tell me they ate frozen pizza. Dishes in sink, washing still in bathroom.
Day 4
Spend most of the day out of the house. Lunch is more fried rice (Mum made many ice cream tubs full of it before she left. We've pretty much finished them all.) Jeremy and I go to JV's 21st. JV is from a Maltese family. Last time I went there, there were at least 8 different types of meat. This time was no different. At one point, I had four different types of chicken on my plate. Jeremy and I eat as much as we can, knowing this will be our best feed for a while.
Later regret not filling pockets.
Day 5
Feel sick from previous night of eating. Equally as pathetic, if not more, to have a hangover from eating, not drinking, too much the night before.
Have to go to work at 1pm at the church, waiting on big brother to bring home car. He went out for lunch unexpectantly...and got home at 1:20pm.
Lunch is five Ritz biscuits and a tub of chocolate YoGo. Later, a handful of pizza shapes.
Dinner is random foods - Garage made chicken and leek pasties, two (also Garage made) coconut maccaroons, a cup of tomato soup, some chips, some sweet and salty popcorn - at church and a quarter pizza at home.
Day 6
Today I ate two bananas, a fruit bar, and a meat pie. First attempt to have something that wasn't frozen failed. Brought in a load of washing today, because it was raining. There is not much room to hang it up inside, since last week's washing is still there. Our dryer doesn't work. Oven is looking a good option.
Some stats
Current number of people thinking us pathetic and inviting one or all of us over for dinner: 4.
Number of meals cooked by us so far and eaten together: 0.
Total number of meat pies consumed by us: 9.
Total number of dim sims consumed by us: 20.
Items of washing in the bathroom: 30+.
Number of clean underwear left: 4.
Number of emails Mum has sent: 4. One every day and a half.
Number of replies from any of us: 1. Me, last night. After the most recent email said, "Are you boys even reading my emails?!"
Temperature of house: -2139481279875135 degrees.
Sicknesses: None yet. But feeling a little itchy.
Days till Mum and Dad come back: 15.
...crap.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Parcel of Deer

1) Dear person who borrowed every single book I needed at the library: eat my poo. If you need me, I'll be relying on the only available books left, "Hop on Pop" and "Gizmo".

2) Dear boy who came up the back of the bus and despite me being the only one there amongst at least twenty other seats chose to sit right next to me, making us look uncomfortably awkward to anyone down the front of the bus: eat my poo. Actually, I'm just disappointed we didn't hold hands. No biggie.

3) Dear blog: eat my poo. Write more interesting posts for yourself, I'm tired of thinking of people to tell to digest my previously digested stuffs. I don't even have energy left to finish this bl

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Bibleball

As some of you will know, I am fairly obsessed with basketball. I love playing it, reading about it, following it, watching it, everything. We've been shooting a ball around outside the Garage for a little while now, usually whilst having leaders chat or waiting for the kids. Then it often becomes a game with the boys. Obviously, I love that, but I guess not everyone's as keen a fan as me. ANYWAY. The following is an excerpt from a silly exchange DC and I had over the above picture he drew. I laughed whilst in it, so thought I'd share. Apologies for dodgy quality/if you're not amused. But whatever.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hungry, Hungry, Hungary?*

A little video action whilst I think of something worthwhile writing. Things are pretty slow at the moment, just uni-ing big time. Did just ace an exam and get full marks on an essay, so turns out doing the readings actually helps. Whatever.

Heard this song the other day, has been in my head for a little while. Check out their myspace when you're done.


* I played Hungry, Hungry Hippos the other day. It was amazing. My buddy Homer the Hippo and I had our fair share of plastic hippo food. I like to imagine that the game is a correct representation of what feeding time at the hippo enclosure looks like.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Things That Sound Bad Out Of Context #5

Another entry from KF (see TTSBOOC#2). It's ridiculous the rate she racks up the birth-related inappropriateness.

"I do not actually intend to eat the placenta.. Just to secretly feed it to Ben, hidden in a cake. And if you're thinking that Ben won't eat it now... You're wrong. Ben will eat my placenta cake."
So...um. I've never felt so threatened in my life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Things That Sound Bad Out Of Context #4

Admittedly, this is one of my own.

"Hope your poo was good fun."

We weren't even talking about someone going to the toilet. I'm just a considerate and genuinely interested person. So stop judging me.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Tap-Ups Allowed

Aside from a few things, this week has been mostly poo. I'm currently stuck in the basement at uni writing an essay. Actually, a more accurate depiction of my location is: I'm currently on struggle street looking at some words I wrote. Struggle street does not have nice architecture.
One little thing that did make me smile though was when I walked through the busy square outside the campus centre, and amidst the one million students going to and from class, were six kids playing downball/four-square/what-have-you. Well, four playing, two waiting for someone to go out*.
I thought that was so cool. I don't even know why there were kids at uni. They were just there playing some four-square and everybody was making sure they walked around them. People in uni might not play the game anymore, but they sure as hell know that you'd have to be a major jerk to disrupt it. Respect the game.
..Can you get a degree in downball? Computer says, "GET BACK TO WORK."


* As long as that person wasn't king. Then you get, "STOP GETTING KING OUTTTTtttttttttttttt!**"
** With that sort of whiny, trailing off ending. You know the one.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Letter #2

A while back I wrote a Letter to my recently-passed maths teacher, one of a few teachers who had a profound impact on me beyond my schooling life. Sadly, another great teacher of mine passed away recently, also from leukaemia.

He was my Grade 5 teacher, my first teacher when I made the move to Trinity. He was tall, old, skinny, and reminded me of the BFG. He was so kind – I remember that, though sometimes he’d shout and get angry and confiscate my friend’s Prodigy CD, because there was a song called “Smack my bitch up” (and ring the parents to make sure they knew that their son was listening to this sort of stuff, was a funny day) – he would smile behind all those wrinkles and it’d make you smile too.

I loved that class. It was fun, we learnt things, we were pushed. Every morning, before any study, we’d get out our exercise books and copy what he wrote on the board. Everyday, a new Thought For The Day – some gem of wisdom, inspiration, controversy, or just a joke – something I’d probably value much more now. I’m going to hunt down that exercise book. I know it’s still here. After that, we’d write the biggest headlines from the news and talk about them. He understood that there was more to learning and knowing things than just the syllabus. Still, he knew we loved competition, so every period after lunch we’d race in timetables, spelling, anything.

I always remember how much he loved computers. He ate it up. We were the first class in Trinity history to receive wireless LAN cards, because he was so into it. He also loved medieval history and combined these two loves to make a medieval encyclopaedia CD. He sold it. We spent one term doing the spell-checking for it, and were rewarded jellybeans anytime we found a mistake. I was the highest jellybean earner.

We did mad projects. We build a to-scale model of an F1 car, just because we could. We sat in it, painted it, put wheels on them and ran them down a hill. We build medieval weapons, unfortunately, not to-scale. But there were battering rams, trebuchets, catapults, castles, and we played out a medieval war on the tables. We went to our sportsgrounds, and challenged the other two Grade 5 classes to a game of soccer, medieval style. There were three balls, three goals, and it spanned across the whole sportsgrounds. We kicked the other teams butts, because he told us the secrets to the game. I was dressed as a jester that day, because it was also dress-up as someone from medieval times day.

The impression that he most left me with has to do with Asterix. He also loved that. Every year, the other Grade 5 classes would do a musical, but we’d do Asterix, and it was cooler and we had swords. He asked me to play the main bad guy – Caligula Minus (something like, ‘Low Intelligence’ in Latin). I totally didn’t want to. I was a super shy kid who had fun and could have a laugh, but had never done performing for people and wasn’t keen to start. I was so scared and asked him if I could quit. That lunchtime, he took me to the side and said, “I know you can do that role. You’re funny, you’re smart, people like you. What’s more, never let fear be a reason for you not to do something. Be confident. Prove to yourself you’re better than your fears.” So I did it, I had a blast, it was a funny play, but more importantly, I felt confident, I felt like I could do the things I was too afraid to do, and it was a big moment in shaping who I am now. All because of Asterix.

In my later years, I’d always see him wandering around when I went to the Junior School. He always smiled, always had time to chat, we’d talk about lots of things – school, church, Africa Aid, medieval stories, faith. One of those teachers that is far more interested in who you are than what grades you’re getting.

I’m not going to write a letter this time. Not here, at least. I should have already, I should have learnt. The funeral is tomorrow. I’m wanting to write one to his family, at least let them know how much he meant to us. And I’m going to write to the last few teachers left who really affected me, impacted and influenced me. Some are in my neighbourhood, some I’ll have to hunt down. But it’ll definitely be worth it.

God Bless You JW. May you forever be at peace with the God you were so faithful to, and may we always remember you for your wisdom, humour, dedication and for playing Pok√©mon on your computer sometimes when we did. You’re awesome.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Veta-gems

I’m loving Vetamorphus, as always. This year’s group is different to the other years – in that there’s all girls (3), and only one is a Doncaster kid. But it’s been great fun, they’re all massively talkative and hyper, so never a dull moment. There’s been some funny stuff to come out of random conversations, so as I remember them, they may find their way here. Here’s two to get you started.

Girl 1: Hey, did you get a haircut?

Girl 2: Yeh I did, about 6 inches off.

Girl 1: …That’s like half a sub!

(Looking at Genealogy in Matthew)

Girl 1: I think it’s kinda cool to see how Jesus’ ancestors all progressed to that point.

Girl 2: It connects some of the prophesy from the Old Testament.

Boy 1 (Boy no longer there): Gee, it’s lucky all the women involved weren’t infertile.

Silence…

There is also a Casanova puppet show that was done in one of the seminars, but I can’t remember the dialogue. Just know it was perverted and hilarious.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

A Resume, A Retreat & A Realisation

So whilst I struggle with the photos of my dirty room/some camera difficulties, here's a little bit of news of things happening in my world.

Resume isn't really the right word, but it was the only way of somewhat keeping meaning whilst filling out the title. Whatever. Youth Vision last week approved my application to become a sponsored Youth Ministry intern at my church. That means I can get paid to do what I love doing, as well as take on some youth ministry study under ACOM, to help me better myself personally and in leadership mad-skillz. This is an answer to some of my prayers lately, as I've been seeking how to chase God and better my relationship with him and others, and get past the annoyingly necessary need for jobs and money to help me get by without leeching off my parents.

The first retreat for Vetamorphus was last weekend. It was a great time away, a very healthy space for real conversations. I told the girls that we have this year (CW, BC, and LD - all champs, also the most easily distracted people ever) that I loved the space we were in, where people could have real conversations with strangers and skip through all the crap that might normally occur when meeting someone. The focus of the weekend was on getting to know your Bible (and so getting to know God better). It was good stuff, as I and so many others constantly need reminding, encouragement and help in exploring the many messages in that old book.

From this retreat, came my realisation. I was interviewed as an ex-student, now leader, on the retreat. I was asked about where I was at coming into Vetamorphus, how it affected me, and where I'm at now. It was after reflecting on this that I had my massive realisation. A few years ago, I prayed one of those prayers you pray when everything's turned to poo. The sort of desperate, pleading, pathetic prayer, where I actually got on my knees, in the dark, and prayed for a long time. I asked for my life to change, for me to become a better person, for social justice to become something I cared about more than trying to impress people (or more like, for God to help me as I attempted to make caring about others part of my life). Lots of stuff. It was long, intense, and a time when I genuinely was relying on God. Four years on, I am working in ministry; I love making people and serving them my priority; I am passionate about social justice; I struggle constantly with my faith and God, but it makes my life more worthwhile. My prayers have been answered, and I'm in a massively good place at the moment. Just happier, less stressed. I still know that life has ups and downs, but I'm happy to sit and reflect and work through the downs until the good times happen again.

I'm in such a great space and I'm very grateful that I'm in it. God's been good to me and it makes me want to be good to others.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Feeling Productive

Today I feel motivated to do stuff. I have the whole day, before small group in the evening. I'm going to attempt to:

  • Clean my room.
  • Post updates on cleaning.
  • Journal bible readings.
  • Read more of "The Irresistible Revolution", which I am halfway through.
  • Exercise.
  • Be happy.
On top of that, I'm also attempting this year to:
  • Read more.
  • Journal more.
  • Bible more.
  • Friendship more.
  • Actually use a diary, so I don't keep forgetting events.
  • Become even more intentional in my ministry - making it just as much as meaningful to me as the people I'm ministering to.
Here goes nothing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rowville Bushfire Relief

This was posted on Digger's blog:
Lots of things are being donated to families displaced by the bushfires - but where to from there?

St. Vincent de Paul Society has set up in a MASSIVE warehouse in Rowville. There is a bigger pile of things than I can describe, but before it can be distributed, it needs unpacking, sorting and repacking so that it's available to people who really need it.

There's room for hundreds to help but only dozens there at the moment. There are people sorting:
8am - 8pm Monday to Friday
8am - 4pm Saturday
between now and the end of the month, at least. Or, as the lady running it told me "For as long as it takes."

If you can spare an hour or two to help, that would be fantastic. You just rock up to the warehouse, register quickly and then get to work. Lunch, tea and coffee are provided.

The exact address is Lot 7, Henderson Road, Rowville, but the building has a sign out front saying "For Lease" labelled "37 Dunlop Road, Mulgrave". It's 400m from Kellet's Road. I've put the exact location on this map:
http://maps.google.com.au/maps/ms?hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&ll=-37.907692,145.242382&spn=0.011512,0.01914&t=h&z=16&msid=108540098799107343748.000462a2a625f9fb015d8

Please forward this invitation on to anyone you think might be interested.
I went last week and it was great to help out and meet all the people who have given up time to assist. Get on it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Desktop

I've found it easy to get a bit down over the last week with all the news reports, stories and friends' experiences with the bushfires... but this is something that made me laugh quite a bit the other day.

My mum's desktop.

Don't notice anything interesting yet? Well, how about a closer inspection.

Bingo.

That's right. My mum has a 'Show Desktop' icon on her desktop. I went to delete it, but she told me not to, because "it might be important." This is the same lady that I once caught dialling a phone number into the tv remote and getting freaked out because the tv was acting possessed and her calls wouldn't connect. I can't wait to be like that.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

From the canvas - my prayer for the bushfires

God may our humanity be what burns brightest now,
May spirit, love, community and kindness... even forgiveness continue to be stirred into flame,
You are moving in people and their overwhelming response of compassion to tragedy,
It is what gives us hope, it is where the light is in the time of darkness,

And so with this in our hearts and minds,
Let us sing - loudly, defiantly,

as one voice
one nation
one world,
O, sing, souls, sing:
Life can
Life must
Life will go on.
Amen.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

This Way To Heart Disease...

I have two additions this week to my stalking of bacon ridiculousness. Although, strictly, one is not bacon. Then again, who knows what's inside? Bacon, children, mongeese (true plural?) , apricots, sasquatch? The answer, my friends, will never be known. Except, all of the above.

Number #1:
Sometimes I look at bacon and think: "Wow. This won't do. It doesn't serve as an alarm clock or a suit. What use to me are you?" Clearly, somebody else has too. So they decided to take two pounds of bacon (907 grams for the metrically inclined), season it, add another two pounds of sausage, put on another layer of bacon, some barbecue sauce, smoke, then add one last layer of barbecue sauce. Now this has been blogged one million times, has been in papers all over the place. So the only thing I'm going to add is this: On the website, when you look at the finished product... does it look like a cake made from poo to you too? Either that, or the blood and sweat cake from Matilda.

Bruce Bogtrotter's gonna love this. Don't understand that obscure reference? Well. Then you're going straight to the Chokey.

Number #2:
I'm actually really interested in this one. Since I've still got time before uni, I may just attempt it.

Potato + pig + garden hose + sasquatch.

I am well aware I've wasted my time writing this blog and that there are more meaningful things I could be writing. Stop shouting at me.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tomorrow's Explanation

You know some mornings you wake up are suddenly inspired to do something? I woke up this morning very excited about life. I've been awake one hour and already have done some things that will hopefully leave my life in a better state.
Also, this week, not so much by coincidence or even intention as laziness/busy-ness*, marked one month since my last blog. So much for tomorrow. But here is some window into what I was thinking when I wrote "In The Field...".
Since returning from the Philippines, my mind had been in some state of unrest. I'd been thinking a lot about what I'm doing with my life, how I'm living, what I believe, how that translates into my actions, etc. More and more I was finding that the things I believe, especially about love for the poor and the way Jesus lived, were not well represented by the way I live. It is one to thing to do charity, but charity alone, as with anything, is not enough or anything without love**. Sometimes what I do is because I love, but sometimes it comes out more like a guilt reliever.
So I felt restless. Restless because of these realisations, but also because of something else in the back of my mind. For the entire time I've been talking, protesting, fundraising, advocating about poverty and change, I've felt uneasy. Slowly, I've begun to realise that, at least for me, what I am doing has something to do with my faith, but my faith has something to say about the way I'm doing it. Acts of charity are good, and they do good, but I always felt like there had to be more. Like it wasn't enough for me to raise money and still live the way I do. I feel like it's too easy in my life, too comfortable - and now I'm uncomfortable with the comfort. My grand visions of how to save the world, how to fix things, became me starting to think about just leaving here, going to live with the poor. However, this would require me giving up so much comfort - that I'm sure, at least for the beginning, I would miss - but also leaving my ministeries here and causing a strain on the relationships I have - friends, family, K. So for a long time, I had been trying to ignore this back of the head thought. But now I was confronting it, and this is the point where God spoke to me in the field.
Do not be afraid. I was terrified of what I was thinking. Terrified that it seemed that not only could I not ignore the call (excuse double negative), but that I was starting to dream of following it. Terrified of what God might be asking of me. Terrified of the unknowns I might be taken too. But I was reminded in the field that faith, hope and love and the three greatest things***, and that if I really have those things, I should go and know that I'd be ok. To some, I can imagine that sounds like a completely ridiculous idea.
Amaze. Because of doing things like ministry and Africa Aid, and loving them, I speak about them a lot. Some of my friends, or even people I meet, sometimes react in such a way: "Oh wow, you're doing so much for so many people! You're amazing!" Don't be mistaken, I like praise. Everyone does. However, when you start to look for praise or act because you know people will admire you, you became fake, unhealthy and a general loser. I felt like I was heading down that path. One of my friends regularly calls me Superman. Their partner, who I've never met but knows of me, calls me Jesus. Neither of these titles I deserve. In the field, God reminded me that the glory I might bring to him through the love I bring to people is far greater than any glory I might receive from people. That I should love in a way that is discreet and not self-seeking, but that will be glaringly loud through my life.
Turn your back. Like I said, I was thinking about leaving. This was about me understanding that there are people that very much need love here too. Poor in money, poor in possessions, but also poor in love. That applies to both people of wealth and none. I don't think this was so much a discouragement from going to the poor, as a reminder that I should honour and cherish the people I have here, instead of take them for granted.
Fix. I wrote before that I was dreaming about fixing the world. Changing it. Well, perhaps it is not the world that needs fixing, or maybe I'm in no position to do this until I start inspecting the woodwork in my eye. God was telling me to explore, share in life with people everyone - my house, my church, my community, my uni, my country, my world. That this might be a more powerful way of bringing love to people than having meetings and making spreadsheets and setting monetary targets. I am not an agent sent to the world to fix it. I am a member of this world, this massive community, and should participate as such.
Beauty. Again. Love. Take it to people. Give them it. If they don't, help them see their beauty.
Go. Get out of your shell, comfort. Get out of the field now. Go do life.
* There really should be a word 'busy-ness', because it's a better conveyor of what I mean than 'business'.
** 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
*** 1 Corinthians 13:13