Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
It's still a little too early to tell whether it's any good or not, but he's had some good insights in the past, so we'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
Seriously though, check it out. He's got some good stuff up so far, and having followed his notes on Facebook for a while, I know it should be worthwhile.
Also he added me on his blogroll, so I suppose he deserves a heads-up.
Good luck mate.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I've never been excessively handsome, good at sports, or good at making friends; but I am smart and funny, and that has to count for something.
So why is it that I am not funny on this blog? I wonder. When I visit other blogs, I leave comments behind that have people laughing for days afterwards. I get messages about how funny I am, really I do. (No, seriously. I can show them to you if you don't believe me.)
So why, when I post on this blog, are my posts so serious and lacking in humour? I don't know. When I used to have the Reef on facebook, before I was deleted, I used to have good-natured banter going with each post. I used to make (bad) puns about my name, I used to use sarcasm and irony to make my point.
Now, not so much.
At first I thought that it was because no one actually read The Reef on Facebook. Except for a few friends, it was pretty much me talking to myself. Out here, in the wild water as it were, I feel like people are watching me all the time. Like a goldfish in a bowl I suppose. I am afraid people might take my humour for flippancy, or disrespect, when talking about a serious topic. So I tone myself down.
Then I realised that actually it's not my fault. It's all your fault. That's right. YOU.
I need banter to be funny. I need to feel like this is a conversation, not a performance. But you just sit there quietly and watch me. Judging me. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!! SAY SOMETHING!!
So drop me a comment, disagree with me, tell me I have cute fins. Engage, and we can have us some fun.
Let me know you are out there.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Thursday, February 5, 2009
I used to love this song when I was at school. I don't know whether it was the cool melody line in the chorus, or the fact that the lyrics made no sense. I could nod my head and pretend I understood, and that this was just too deep.
Now, many years later, I think that these words kind of describe my relationship with God. Over the last few years I have been trying to learn more about him, but I find that the more I learn, the less I understand. Or, the more I learn, the harder it becomes for me to understand. As a child I was content with what I had, now as I learn more, I start to realise that God wants more from me, and less. All he really wants is a relationship, and then for everything to flow out of that. So simple, but also so difficult. Following rules I can do. Reading and learning I can do. Being kind to others, well.... I can try. Loving God and wanting him only for him? Can I really? I don't know. It's a hard one.
Over at my other blog I did a post titled "It's not just about the chocolate" in which I talk about the fact that as Christians we need to be focused not just on eternity, and what God has done for us, but also on the now, and who he is to us. At least that's what I was going for, it might just be a post about chocolate. I never can tell.
In theory, the idea that God is seeking a relationship with us first and foremost, and that this is more important than our actions, is so liberating. But it scare me too, because I don't know whether I am up to the challenge. I have never been good at relationships. I am getting better, but there is still a long way to go. So I guess the more I learn, the less I know about before.
But I'm still digging deep for clues on higher ground.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
And while we are watching, I start thinking. I start thinking about what he is saying, and how to apply it to my life. I also start thinking about what questions I can ask the group about what we are hearing. At the same time, I am thinking about the phone call I got at work today, and what I need to do about it tomorrow, and I am also figuring out how to amend the ingredients in a carrot cake to be sugar-free, drawing up a shopping list, making mental notes about the training day I have to plan for later this month, calculating the cubic root of 1331 the long way (don't even ask) and doing scores of other things. And this is all while watching LOUIS GIGLIO, who I like. Can you imagine what would be going through my head if I was watching Pastor J John?
Okay, don't answer that.
The point, and yes I do have one, is that I have a pretty wild mind. But I don't think I am alone in this. (Except perhaps for the cubic root thing. That's just weird!) We all have hundreds of things going through our heads.
Have you ever had the experience of praying, and suddenly another thought comes to you? You get distracted by something you have to do later, or just thinking about something inconsequential. And how does that make you feel?
I can tell you how it makes me feel. Like a failure. Like I am failing GOD because I can't focus only on him. Like I should be able to just shut off my mind and listen to him in silence.
Is that how it makes you feel?
But is that right?
Of course I would love to be able to do that. To just stop thinking, and focus on nothing but GOD. To have a one-track mind. But here's the thing... I don't. GOD didn't make me that way. He didn't give me a one-track mind. He gave me a train-station in my head. Where Louis Giglio DVDs and Cake recipes cross paths at breakneck speed, and where my bible reading for this morning has to run side by side with Finding Nemo and an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Where Winnie the Pooh quotes get hitched up to memories of conversations I had three weeks ago.
In short, its a pretty wild place in my head. And that's the way GOD made it. The sort of place where I can take heavy bible lessons, and break them down by comparing them to a Pixar Animations film. The sort of place where I can listen completely to your question, and run through every book I have ever read on the subject, while at the same time praying to GOD to bring the right one to mind, and put all the information together. In short, the mind that makes me who I am today. The mind that I think GOD gave me to use for HIS glory.
And he knows it. I don't know for sure, but I think that when I am busy hitting my head against the wall, screaming "I am so sorry GOD, I don't know what is wrong with me today." He is saying, "Sharkbait, are you saying I made you wrong? Do you mean that you want me to give you a one-track mind?"
In the DVD, entitled "Born to be wild" Louis suggests that the reason we suffer such frustration and stress in our lives is because we try to fit GOD into our own story for our life, instead of trying to fit ourselves into His story.
I want to take that a step further. I think that what GOD wants in our quiet time, is not that we would try and bring him to our problems, but rather that we would bring our problems to him. That we would make him present in every aspect, be it the DVD, or the carrot-cake recipe. That we would make him Lord of everything, not just the cool and holy stuff. That I wouldn't try and clean up a nice empty head so that we can sit in silence together, but that I would say, "Come in GOD, this is what I did today, and this is what I am going to do tomorrow. Please be with me, and let me feel your hand in mine as I go through this."
Or something like that.