Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ask. Listen. Do.

Recently I was on a road trip and found myself at a church service in Adelaide. After plenty of loud music, emotive prayer etc, up gets this great little Indian guy to deliver the week's message. I must admit, I did giggle when he first took the stage...this guy was straight out of a bollywood movie. He had it all going on; the accent, the moves. But then he delivered a straight-down-the-line message. One that I loved and will try to share with you.

We started by flipping to 1 Chronicles 14:8-17 (you might like to do this and have a read now too).

So the Philistines are attacking David, the new king of Israel. David hears that these bad guys are on the move, so what does he do? Does he quickly march out and try to smash them? Does he barricade the gates and hide in his room? Does he ask the advice of the palace staff? Although all these options  probably seem quite reasonable in worldly terms (personally, I think hiding in my room would have sounded like a good idea...), David did none of these. Not straight away, anyway, because David is an Ask. Listen. Do kinda guy.
David prayed. He asked the advice of The Almighty One, "is this the right time to attack the Philistines?" he asks. "Will you give me the victory?"
God says yes. So David attacks and destroys. Just as God said would happen.

Before too long the Philistines are at it again. And once again, David has a choice to make. To attack or not to attack?
For a moment here, we need to have a little think. David has been in this situation before (Philistines running towards his land with swords drawn...). And what did God tell him last time? Attack! So why would David not just say to himself, "I know the drill...attack!"
Because David is wiser than that. He knows God will rescue him, but he does not assume that he knows best this time. He does not assume that the same victory plan will apply. He asks God again. And lucky he did, because the plan was different (read about it in 1 Chronicles 14:13-16).

So, what does this mean for us? We don't generally have to make choices about attacking on-coming armies (not literally, anyway). But we do have plenty of choices to make. We can decide to struggle through by ourselves. We can barricade the door and hide in our room. We can ask those around us for advice. But our first stop should always be to pray. Ask the advice of The Almighty One. 
Then what? After you ask a question, the only sensible thing to do is listen for the answer. So listen carefully, He will always answer. And then comes the part where you do something. Whatever it is God has instructed you to do. This can be the hardest part of all sometimes, but do you think David would have been successful if God said "attack" and David said, "No, I'd rather stay at home and hide"?
"So", says our cool Indian guy, "where in your life are you are stuck for direction? What places in your life have you been going your own direction?" 

Ask. Listen. Do.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."
-Sir Winston Churchill

This quote caught me rather off guard recently.

Now, I'm not claiming Winston Churchill was perfect in any way, but as the Prime Minister of The United Kingdom for the large part of World War II, he certainly knew what it meant to have enemiesboth personal and of state.
It's so easy to get too caught up with getting everyone on sidebeing everyone's friendthat, while we may indeed be well liked, it compromises our faith. And also our ability to be any kind of a good example, or representative of Christianity.
In James 4:4, The Bible makes this clear: "Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God."

Now, I don't believe this is a call to go and get as many people off side as possible.
In fact, the Bible also says quite clearly that it should not be our deeds that cause people to be our enemies.

In Proverbs 25:21: "If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink."
And earlier, in Exodus 23:4-5: "If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it."
And in Leviticus, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Romans, Galatians, and James we are instructed to "love your neighbour as yourself".

But what The Bible doesn't say is "it's okay to have others' opinions of you as your first priority".

Friday, June 3, 2011

Come run with me.

We all need down time. And we all have those certain things we like to do when we eventually find a pocket of time for down time. Me? I like to run. I like to be out on the road. Just me and my nikes. And my King. 
When I go for my down time expeditions, I love to say "come run with me" to my King, who is also my friend. We run together and talk together and come up with wild ideas and crazy plans together. I sometimes think I hear Him speak most clearly when I am out doing down time.
Each time I hang with my King I grow. Sometimes I'm thankful. Other times I'm simply spent. Sometimes I feel like I'm just grappling with Him. But it's all part of the growing. 
So here is the challenge. Say it. Ask Him to come along and spend down time with you. Come read with me. Come fishing with me. Come and watch re-runs of Get Smart with me (this might also be a good time to assess your down time activities... "come stalk people on Facebook for hours with me" may not go down so well... it might be time to invest your down time in something else). 
So when you find your moments of down time, choose to grow. Ask the King to come along.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Jimmy Needham - Nightlights

Click on the image above to listen to the album.
This album is definitely worth a listen. Not only is it musically interesting and (more importantly) fun, it clearly shows the importance of humility. The title refers to us, comparing us to God as nightlights to the sun.
Nearly every song on the album has some reference to his struggle to be humble as a successful musician.
Here are a few quotes:

Whenever I climb too high
Keep my feet on the ground.
And when I get full of me
Turn me upside down.
You know pride and not just Summer
Come before the Fall.
So if You that's gettin' bigger
I don't mind being small.

Why are we so convinced a bigger audience
Is simply common sense to have?
Maybe success is measured best
By nothing less than our obedience.
                          Half the time I forget that I should trust in You.
                          Nothing else will do
                          But have a willing heart
                          And leave the rest up to You.

Let's part the clouds
And show the world the Son.
Be Thou exalted over my reputation,
'Cause applause is a poor form of soul medication.

Click on a quote to hear the song it's from.
I know that's a lot of quotes, but the album is riddled with it. It's a real comfort to know that even people we admire struggle with things like this. But with that comes the challenge that Jimmy sets himself in the fourth track: "Help me get back to the reason I sing for you."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

International Roast

My apologies for the atrocious drawing.
Believe it or not, this actually happened to me.
I was visiting a church in Newcastle, and was sharing my long-awaited coffee time with another drummer. In amongst our—as the layman would say—"drummer talk", the topic of the supremacy of "real" coffee to instant came up. Overhearing our conversation, a passing coffee connoisseur proudly boasted that he had never, and never would, have instant coffee—all the while making and, without batting an eyelid, drinking a mug of International Roast.
Oblivious to our stunned and bewildered silence, our connaisseur de café left us.
To be fair, he was a twelve-year-old boy, or twelve-ish.
Much discussion followed, and we decided that he must've been under the impression that instant coffee was the stuff that came in sachets. And that everything else was "real". It was, and remains to be, the only logical explanation for such an act of blasphème de café.

But, there is a lesson to be learnt here. This boy honestly believed that he had managed to avoid the very thing he was feeding himself with.
How often do we convince ourselves that we don't lie, or cheat, or covet, or judge, or idolise, or a multitude of other undesirable clichés, because we just don't realise?

One of my biggest regrets in life is that I didn't correct this boy right there on the spot, maybe saving him a life time of ignorance on a most important matter.
Luckily for us, God isn't easily bewildered, and if we let him, he'll explain.

The moral of the story?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Find me.

Sometimes when we are doing life God seems quiet, distant and anything but present. We might feel like he is hiding from us. Chances are it is more like us hiding from God behind a heap of indifference (plain ignoring Him) and sin. Sin has a way of piling up and creating a wall between us and God.
As a teenager (it really was not that long ago!!) I recall hanging onto some promises of God when I had times of not sensing His presence in my life.

Proverbs 8:17 
 17 “I love all who love me. Those who search will surely find me.

Jeremiah 29:13

13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.

The passages suggest that the ball is in our court, there are some things that we need to do. 
My experience has been that God is faithful to His promise. Spend some time with God and allow Him to take hold of your sin, love Him because he has provided a way for you to be free from sin. Search for Him, start in His word the Bible and allow Him to speak love and wisdom into your life. Look for God in your everyday - he is there.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My Bridge

"Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse..." - Deuteronomy 21:23b

I want to introduce you guys to "Bridge to life" by Gospel Graffiti. You can read more about them by going to their website The video can be viewed here.

Yes it is true. Sin opened a void between us and the Father. Yep. Eve ate the fruit. Cain killed Abel... the list goes on and on. We are imperfect. We sin. BUT God had a plan. He hasn't nor will he ever give up on us. He will never turn from us. We have sinned against God in every way shape and form. World Wars, death, destruction and sadness fill the news. But God will not give up.

God's plan was a great one: "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 Jesus died on the cross for my sin, for your sin, for the world's sin.

You may wonder why I started this post with a verse from Deuteronomy. Well Deuteronomy is a book of Law. It's in the Old Testament (before Jesus) However, it applied very much to the life of Jesus. "Anyone who is hung on a tree is under God's curse." Jesus was hung on the wood of a tree, on the crucifix and suffered one of the slowest and most agonising deaths. He suffered the curse and the wrath of God. But it wasn't for his sins he was hung, it was for mine. Jesus is the "Bridge to life." Let's cross that bridge together... I dare you.

Your's in Christ,

Andrea :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

When Things Don't Make Sense

The universe is ordered.
But sometimes, this order can be difficult to see. The Bible tells us that God created the Heavens and the Earth.
Now, logically:
  • Before Earth could be created, He had to invent time, and the spatial dimensions.
You need a canvas before you can paint.
So far, so good.
But time is measurable, so:
  • Before He could invent Time, He had to invent Mathematics.
  • Before He could invent Mathematics, He had to invent Invention.
And of course, here logic is thrown out the window, because you cannot invent something before you invent Time, because Time hasn't been invented yet. And how can Invention be invented when it requires itself to pre-exist itself?
Maybe it all happened with exactness of simultaneity that we can't imagine.
But Simultaneity requires Time, Time requires Mathematics, Mathematics requires Invention, and Invention requires Invention, which implies Simultaneity.
And all of that requires Requirement, which God invented.
God is big.
I don't mean as big as a house. Not as big as a planet.
If you gathered every atom in the universe together, it still can't be as big as God.
Maybe if we include the Fourth Dimension, Time, and take every atom at every infinitely divisible point in time?
God can't be measured in 3 dimensions, 4 dimensions, or even a thousand hypothetical dimensions.
God made it all.
He made us knowing full well that there is no way that we could ever hold in our chemical heads the tiniest iota of who He is. Bound by Time and Space, we can't even begin to imagine God, who is outside, and created, both.
We try. But pictures of the Old Bearded Bloke, the most descriptive and eloquent psalms, and even intense emotional experiences fall infinitely short.

But He gives us clues.
The universe is ordered. If anyone ever tells you that science has disproved God, they are an idiot. God is the reason that science exists. Science is the measurement and understanding of God's Ordered Creation. Without God, there could be no order, and no creation.

But how can the universe be ordered and logical, if the invention of Time and Space and Numbers and Invention simply doesn't make logical sense?

God is big.

If we can't comprehend God, does it mean He doesn't exist? If we can't comprehend how (or why) He created the universe does that mean it doesn't exist? Or anything outside the Order and Logic that the universe was given, can't have taken place?
If we can't comprehend life outside of Time and Space (Eternity), then does that mean it doesn't exist?

He invented Logic, and he can screw with it as he pleases.

Follow me.

John 10:27
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

Jesus compares us to sheep - not the most intelligent of animals. But the sheep have something going for them, they know the shepherds voice and they follow Him. He is the one who cares for them, lets them rest in green pastures, leads them by peaceful streams and along right paths. He offers them protection, honour and a place in eternity with Him forever.

Do you know who your following? If you do, do you know where they are leading you?
Yes, I know the picture is of geese, but they are following each other rather nicely don't you think?

I want to introduce you to BibleGateway, which is an online bible resource. It has a stack of different bible versions and the ability to search by keywords which is pretty helpful when part of a bible verse comes to mind but the rest doesn't. It also has Topic Index and Passage Lookup features. 
Psalm 119:105
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.

Get into God's word this week! 

What is LOVE?

Hey guys! Its Andrea here with a cool link that you may like to check out. This is an awesome video done to the song "Love" by Jaeson Ma. Scroll over "Love" and click to view the video.

Romans 5:8 is a really well known verse that says: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." So guys as this video made me think about my own thoughts on what love is, I turned to "The very definition of love... Jesus Christ" The sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross was out of love for the whole world! So share the love around so that we may know perfect love!

Iv'e also included a link to Jaeson Ma's website. Just scroll over his name and click to view!

Until next time! Yours in Christ,

Andrea :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011


To reveal christ by bringing together a variety of online christian resources for youth and promoting a conversation through comments.