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Thursday, March 31, 2005


The words that we use....

We took some of our kids to Easter Camp on the weekend (funny 'cause it was Easter).

As a paid youth worker I have a slight problem coming home.
The problem revolves around the words we use in church and how stupid they are.
I like to communicate with the congregation and let them know what is happening in the youth ministry. (always a good thing) It also allows them the chance to feel like they are doing a good thing, you know "look how good we are at youth ministry" or "look how many young people our church is bringing in on a sunday"

The problem is two fold. Firstly (I hope noone from my church is reading this :)) It is not the end goal of our ministry to get the young people to church on a Sunday morning. Shock horror. We also do not rate our success based on the usual church & salvation army young person scale. A young person is not a successful christian if they attend on sundays, or play in the band or any of those old outward criteria.
So I suppose we can call this problem "different world view" with the majority of people sitting in the pew on a sunday morning.

The second problem continues on from this first one. It is the language that we in the church use. They will want to know how many 'decisions' we had. They want a nice little summary of who made a decision so they can tick them off in their little prayer book. (maybe a bit to cynical and harsh, but you get my point)

Here is the part of the problem. We had one young person who has come to a few youth activities this term. She responded during one of the sessions at Easter camp.

The response was about breaking out of the box that we put ourselves into, had a cool symbolism of a cocoon and a butterfly finding its way out (it was well done). I would say that this response was aimed more at Christians and putting off baggage, giving it to Jesus and being set free.

This girl wasn't a Christian, but she made a choice to find out more about God and begin that journey. We are going to present her with a Bible on Sunday.

Then we had another one of our young people. She comes to literally everything we do. She has been around for 2 years. On the weekend she told us that she had 'given her heart to Jesus' only thing is this is the fourth time in 12 months she has done that. There was the youth alpha course, 2 youth alives and now easter camp.

Had a great discussion the other day in my class on Paul, his life and letters. (the apostle, in case you didn't get that)
We discussed whether he was converted or called by Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Some people complained that the discussion is meaningless, but it resonated with me. In the church we have reduced words from their true meaning. To be converted is to leave one religion and go to another (Paul didn't do this, he was always a Jew).

Neither of those young people left one religion and followed another.
one defintely felt God in a new and real way.
She made a choice, is that the same thing as a 'decision'?

God only knows

Tuesday, March 22, 2005


Gee, I am slack

It has been 6 days since I last blogged.

sorry about that (not that anyone checks this thing other than my mother, hi mum)

well, we are into Holy week.
Easter is nearly here.

On Sunday, we had a prayer time to remember the victims of the Iraq war. 2 years ago on the weekend, the US and the coalition of the willing invaded Iraq.

How time flies.

check out www.sojo.net
a great site for christians interested in social justice.

Last week I did a bit of investigating and found out that the Salvation Army is currently reviewing its policy on working with refugees.
Currently the Army in Victoria only has one place for refugees to get specific assistance, and the officers who have been running that for years are retiring later this year.

The proposal is that all corps will be educated in the issues surrounding refugees and that specific people will undergo training in how to assist refugees.
It also recommends that the army put money into this program and also introduce refugee issues into the curriculum at the officer training college.

I was very excited when I read through the proposal and heard that the army is actually working through the issues. I was told that it will be put into action once the crinkles have been worked out.

Something to pray about.

God Bless all

Tuesday, March 15, 2005


Home again

Well, the hike was great. We went to Craig's Hut (queue music) originally built for the movie "Man From Snowy River"

I would just like to take a short moment to have a rant, please bear (is that how I spell it?) with me.

One of the members of my party was not to fond of 4WDs and their owners. Obviously they are not environmentally friendly, the 4WDs not necessarily their owners. I also think that it is an interesting way to see the countryside, driving around with your windows up and air conditioning on.

2 things on the weekend helped to confirm this view to me.

1) having hiked up the side of Mt Stirling, we reached the summit only to find a 4WD club camped at the top. When we met some of them at the summit, one of the drivers turned to us, noting our hiking packs on our back and said "did you guys walk up here?"

2) We hiked along a 4WD track and spent the best part of an afternoon and the next morning dodging 4WDs, the height of it being when we stopped for a break and 6 4WDs in convoy travelled past, then 10 minutes later came back the other way. If I had have wanted traffic like that I would never have left Melbourne.

I would be interested to see how many suburban 4WD owners would actually go out into the country if they did not have a 4WD.

End rant.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


They are through.....

Liverpool are through to the last 8 of the Champions League.


I have thrown my sleeping pattern out the window the last two nights.
Yesterday I was up at 6:30 to watch Chelsea v Barcelona (pity about the result)
Today I was up at 7:15 to see the Half time score (liverpool 2-0 up)
and then watched the second half of Arsenal v Bayern Munich (at least this one went the right way)

I woke up at 3am this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. It was quite annoying.

Still kicking ahead with Fairtrade tea & coffee.
Supposedly THQ (Salvo Headquarters) is on the Australian Fairtrade Association.
They are going to start pushing for corps and centres to use fairtrade in the near future.
Hopefully this eventuates.

Ok, better head off.
will try to blog tomorrow.
Heading hiking for the weekend.
Mt Stirling & Craig's Hut (Man from Snowy River) here I come.

Saturday, March 05, 2005



Melissa graduated today.
She now holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Social Welfare.
She is such a star!
I am pretty proud of her.

It makes me contemplate my own education.
I really enjoy studying, but it looked cool to reach the end and to have some fulfillment.

Oh well, I suppose when I finish my Bachelors there is always Masters and perhaps a PhD to go. I suppose I better get my Bachelors first ......

Friday, March 04, 2005


The cost of discipleship

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote a book called the cost of discipleship.
In it he stated "When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die."
For Bonhoeffer we could not seperate discipleship from its cost, it has to cost us something.

Last night in my class we were discussing the Good Samaritan. We were discussing the social aspects of that story, what the social reality was for each of the characters. Perhaps what that story meant in 1st Century Palestine. Then of course, the question was asked "what does it mean for today". The thing about the story that jumped out at me last night was that the Samaritan paid 2 denariis, 2 days wages, to the inn keeper for looking after the victim. It cost the Samaritan a fair bit to be a good neighbour. And of course jesus command is to "go and do likewise"

I know that I have never spent $200 looking after a victim of a bashing or robbery.

If you don't know the story of Bonhoeffer, then you should enter him into yahoo and read some of the background to his story. He is an amazing man.
He grew up in Germany in the years between the world wars. He left Germany after Hitler came to power but felt God call him back to Germany to minister to his people. He was actually on the last passenger boat to travel from the US to Germany before the war broke out.
His convictions led him to question what did God mean, what did discipleship mean in Hitler's Germany.

Martin Luther once wrote: "A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing."

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