Monday, 28 August 2006

Qld State Youth Alive Concert

Last Saturday was the annual Queensland State Youth Alive concert. Over the years I had become quite critical about Youth Alive events – be them the huge state concerts or the local Ipswich, Brisbane or Gold Coast events – however this year I spent a bit of time evaluating the night, and coming to some conclusions.

It’s BIG! There was thousands of young people filling the Boondall Entertainment Centre, the place was packed. And the concert was worthy of a crowd that size. It was a professional, loud, entertaining concert. But I’m not too convinced of its ‘outreach’ potential.

It was definitely not a church service, there was worship music, but I still think the emphasis was appealing to young peoples wants for entertainment, not giving them a humble and honest chance to worship God. The message was incredibly wishy-washy. Paul Geerling spoke on Jesus our Hero. Basically he gave the dictionary definition of a hero, and then proceeded to tell us that Jesus fitted ever part of that definition. (Sidenote~ I wonder how Jesus fits the part where a hero is a skilled and champion warrior, Paul just said that he was and went onto the next point. Sounded like he couldn’t really say anything on that point cause it’s a real stretch of any Biblical truth – end sidenote)

Paul did a great job of going through the crucifixion story with screen shots from Passion of the Christ for emotional effect, and I actually warmed to this part of his message, until he skipped the part where Jesus did this to pay the price for our sins, and jumped straight to the resurrection. His main point for doing the whole cross reflection was to talk about Jesus rising from the dead, and because Jesus can do that he is a superhero (like it was some superpower or something). Telling the story leading to the cross is great, but I think he missed the point big time with making about a superpower instead of the forgiveness of our sins.

All in all the message fed the emotional need young people have to be pumped and entertained. There was little bits of biblical truth in there, but they were watered down so much by other hype I felt it really wasn’t worth it.

The Guy Sebastian side of the night was pure entertainment, but being a closet Guy fan I really enjoyed it.

Which really points to my main reflections on the whole night – it was very entertaining, but is that a good thing?

Yes I think it is. All the money and hype that went into that night created a great place to bring young people. Is a Youth Alive concert along going to bring people to Christ, I really don’t think so, I really don’t think it provides an atmosphere or the teaching to let someone know who Jesus really is and what he did for them. But Youth Alive used as a ministry tool, in conjunction with the local youth groups is a fantastic thing. The WHY leadership team hadn’t planned on going to YA as a youth activity, but when a heap of the young people wanted to go we organised some cars and headed down. Using the concert to get people excited and then to start discussions in future weeks is a great strategy to start sharing the Gospel with some of the un-believers in our group.

And all the money that goes into it – I think even if one person is saved and their lives turned around, then it was all worth it – who can put a price on one person’s salvation??

Sunday, 27 August 2006

Spinal Ward

Jono was moved into the Spinal Ward last Friday. All this time he's been in the general inpatients wards because the SIU was full. But now he's down getting the specific care he needs to get better. Instead of doing 30 minutes of physio a day, he's now doing 2 hours in the morning, pluas an hour of OT later on.

He's the only 'walker' in the whole ward and has really come to a realisation of how blessed he is. Seeing people who have been in the SIU for 13 months and still only have the smallest use of their hands really makes you see the amazing miracle of Jono's healing. Some of these people had accidents which look miniscule beside Jono's moto-cross accident, yet he's walking. Praise God.

Continue to pray that he now regains the strength he once had, and the movement which is yet to return.

Monday, 21 August 2006

Jono Update...

Just a quick one for those following along at home. I visited Jono again last Thursday, he's continuing to improve, even though the progress is slowing a little. He's moved into a different ward, in a different bed so has lost the room to put up most of his cards and gifts. His left arm is gaining more movement, as is his hand -there is not much strength there though.

He is walking quite well and hardly uses his wheel chair anymore. He had a day out on an SU training conference a few weeks ago, and it drained him completely, Jono himself said it showed he wasn't quite as 'well' as he thought he was.

God is continuing to work though - keep praying.

New Job

As of today I am no longer a Network Support Officer for RACQ; I am now a Network Administrator (still for RACQ). Basically now instead of looking after individual computers and printers, I am looking after the servers, network communications gear and user settings. New experiences and more training, I'm sure it will be good.

Sunday, 20 August 2006

Gettin' Around...

Ok so it's been just over a week since I've blogged, that's not due to me having nothing to blog about though.

It was a bit of a mixed up week for me. I had a busy/nothing sort of week... you know where you find yourself with no time, but can't really figure out what you got done.

Last Sunday was great. Dad and I headed out to the Nostalgia Drag meet at Willowbank Raceway. It has to be my favourite event of the year (well it happens twice so my 2 fav events). Only pre 1972 Aussie and Pre 1980 US cars are allowed to compete, and it has also turned into a huge Hot Rods and Customs car show as well. I think there are about 120 pictures up on flickr of just some of the most awesome old cars Qld has to offer.

Dad and I spent nearly the whole day on the start line, chatting with the marshals, helping out the track starters, pushing broken cars off the track and cleaning up oil spills - as well as enjoying some decent burnouts from the old muscle cars.

The week was turned upside down slightly because I was suppose to start a new job on the Monday. However there was a mix up and won't start until tomorrow (I'll post on that later), so I had pretty well left my old position, and couldn't start my new one. I felt like I was in no-man's-land so I took a couple of days off, giving myself a few days rest, and a chance to get some stuff done at home.

This weekend was my Grandparents 50th Wedding Anniversary. So I headed up to Hervey Bay with my parents to visit them. My cousins were there, and my uncle for a short time. Last night we went out to 'Decks' on the Hervey Bay Marina for a seafood buffet feast! 2 dozen oysters, 3 crabs and about half a kilo of prawns later I was feeling pretty good. And even after travelling home today I still haven't needed anything to eat...

These last few weeks have been a touch mixed up as well because I have had a friend from the USA visiting. Natalie came from California in 2004 to work at Whitehill as a volunteer office intern for 9 months. She decided to come back and visit these last weeks, and it's been good catching up, as well as cruising through Brisbane and a few different things to allow her to soak up as much Aussie atmosphere as possible.

Hopefully life may settle down again now so I don't have to blog about everything all in one post again...

Saturday, 12 August 2006

My Achilles Heel.

You may remember back in May I mentioned I'd injured my ankle quite badly. Post Here . I've mentioned it on and off when posting about different activities I've been involved in.

Honestly, I think this has been the toughest injury I've ever had to deal with/recover from. I've done a few silly things in my 24 years, like break wrists and collar bones... I even dislocated this same ankle when I was in grade 11. But this time it really took me down. I think mainly because it's been such a long and slow recovery process.

For those who don't know, I did it playing soccer, and due to my busy life, and the fact I thought it was just my generic "I've hurt my ankle" problem, I didn't go to the doctors for about 7 weeks. When going to the docs, I was told I'd torn all 3 ligaments on the outside of my right foot. The doc said I should have been on crutches for at least 3 weeks (when I only used them for 2 days), and that I can't play any contact sports for at least 12 months - and I should consider never playing soccer again.

I did it on the 21st May, and even now I'm still in some pretty intense pain at times. Thankfully I've gotten past the stage of being in constant pain, and just this week I have started jogging again, and was able to join in games at WHY last night.

So 12 weeks of pain and recovery, and totally changing the way I've had to live my life. Stopping soccer was a big thing, and knowing I'll probably never play again was even bigger. I've tried to stay involved in the team, being a lines-man and different things, but I still look out on the field and feel like I'm missing out on being part of the team.

I haven't been able to do much exercise at all, but I've tried to keep active doing really non-stressful stuff.

The biggest thing though has been the emotional drain, caused mainly through not being able to give 100% in things like WHY and the WEC camps I'm involved in. It took a lot of self restraint to say I can't join in most activities, and even though I had that self restraint I started hating myself and my abilities that were forcing me to do this. It wasn't that I wanted to have fun, it's more that I really value the connection you can have with young guys when partaking in something physical. I reckon the best relationship building time with young blokes is through working together, or sometimes even competing against each other in some sort of sport or game.

On WEC camp I had to find other ways to build relationships, and found it in really listening to the guys and having to take the time to give them enough opportunity to share bits of their lives with me. I learnt a lot about my boys, but I also found it took a lot longer to build those friendships to a point where they were willing to share the 'real' stuff in their lives.

At WHY (Whitehill Youth) it's been slightly different. I've had my boys in my group all year, and have already built good relationships with them. Here I've felt like I've been letting the leadership team down. I haven't been able to run or even join in games. Some times I've even had to leave early, just cause I twigged the ankle and been in so much pain I had to go. But mainly cause after 3 months of constant pain, sometimes I just couldn't be bothered doing anything but sitting down cause I wanted no change of causing any pain. Meaning I was no help at all at WHY on those nights, which got me emotionally down, which probably made me even less helpful.

I've felt I've become pretty useless, due to the limitations I've had to place on myself to let my ankle heal. It felt great last night to play some indoor soccer with the guys, even though I was really careful. But just being able to run, and kick a soft ball was so good.
We're going ice skating next week, I'm not sure if I'll be able to do that, but with the progress this week, maybe I will.

Happy Snap (gone wrong).

Was checking out the images on my phone last night. And found one of the co-leaders at youth group had been taking a few pics with my phone.

So I guess just to teach her a bit of a lesson, I thought I'd post it up here for the whole world to see.

That'll learn ya Emma!!

Thursday, 10 August 2006

My Heart Christ's Home

I can remember the first time someone gave me this little Christian tract. I was on a WEC Camp in grade 12, and someone just handed me this book and told me it was good. It wasn't some huge 'spiritual' moment or anything, just in passing saying that it could help me out with my Christian walk back at school.

And they were right. This book really changed me... it's only about 30 pages long, but it's so simple, so honest and so deep all at the same time.

The story is of a young man, who has just invited Jesus into his heart, and is bringing Christ into his new home (his heart). They tour through the rooms of the house and Jesus helps him clean up, repair, wash and work in each room.

If you can find it, read it. It truely is a great way of expressing how Jesus changes lives, and wants to interact with you on a personal level.

I've just bought a heap of these tracts, and a study book, and over these next 2 terms will be looking at it closely with my grade 10-12 guys at WHy? on our study nights.

I pray they get as much from it as I did when I was their age (woah now that makes me feel old!!)

Monday, 7 August 2006


Next Update on Jono.
Thought it was about time I sent another update. Jono's progress is still coming along. A little improvement each day. He can walk now with the aid of a stick. Praise God! The physio said he can walk unaided whenever he wants to but he has to take it real easy (getting his balance) and just going slow, but Praise God! it's great he can walk. Also his left arm is still very weak in the upper muscle so he can't move his whole arm much, he said it still just flops in the shower. He can move all of his fingers now, but he says he can't grab anything yet. But., as I said he sees improvement every day. He's enjoying getting around on his wheel chair going for races with a girl, who is also a Christian in another ward. (No, not girlfriend, I can hear him saying,) but fun.

Anyway, thankyou so much for your prayers. Paul & I are back at work now. (my first day) so it'll weekend visits from now on which I find hard. Anyway, I've really enjoyed the time I was able to spend with him. and am thankful my boss let me.

'Bye for now. love from Jenny
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