They Had Me At Dragons


What’s not to love about dragons?!

And so easy to imagine!

So yeah, I’ve become quite a fan of the band ‘Imagine Dragons.’ They’ve really got something special going on. Hit after hit after hit. And my word their songs are catchy! Their unique take on percussion is amazing for a start – but then there are the lyrics! And it’s the beautiful poetic lyrics that’ve really captivated me. I can’t wait to hear what they’ll come up with next!

I love it when God speaks to me in unexpected ways –even through ‘secular’ music. There actually needn’t be any separation between the sacred and the secular when we are listening for His voice. So when I was alone driving to work recently and listening to the More FM breakfast show, Imagine Dragons’ latest song cut straight to my spirit with the line “Oh the stupid things I do, I’m far from good it’s true, but still I find you there, next to me.” Are you hearing what I heard? Lord I do so many stupid things, and next to your standard of goodness I suck, but still I find you there, next to me... always, amazingly, just like you promise.

Are you feeling me people?! If you watch the music video of ‘Next To Me’, you’ll see there are layers of meaning like you wouldn’t believe to this song, but for me lately, that line has been a springboard for some amazing conversations with God and moments of profound gratitude for His love, mercy and grace in my life.

So what’s the point of this blog? Well, when I was a teenager (many moons ago) I wrote a lot of poetry. And yeah, I know what you’re thinking… Oh no please don’t inflict your ancient adolescent angst on us Jules! Don’t worry, I won’t. But I tell you what, writing poetry always helped me to order my thoughts and emotions. Often the questions still remained, but something about the process of trying to make something lyrical and beautiful out of my pain helped me find God in the midst of it all – to hear His voice.

And there was a lot of pain in my teenage years. Yes, some was self-inflicted, but not all. Grief over my Dad’s death to cancer when I was 17 shrouded my life for many years and with it the bouts of depression that have come and gone over the years. Yet, as I look back, even in the midst of very dark times, including when I thought I was losing my faith, I can say without doubt, that God never left me. Still I find YOU there, next to me.

Psalm 139 speaks of God being present with us - above, beside, below, ahead and behind. Still I find YOU there, next to me. I think if David were still around (he’s the author in case you didn’t know), he’d have really liked Imagine Dragons! David was a poet, a lyricist, and someone who used words to express and process his pain, fear, anger, doubt and questions. And doing so helped him to find God in the midst of the confusion.

So next time you’re struggling to make sense of things, maybe try writing some poetry or lyrics. Read Psalms. Or failing that, just listen to some music – even secular stuff – because if you’re open, God is more than capable of speaking to you, and assuring you that He IS right there, next to you.

The question we are left with is a simple one – in the midst of it all, whose voice are you listening for?



So I'm new to this whole blog thing but I feel if I share some of the events that have happened in my life, I think a lot of young yeople on their faith journey will relate to the issues I've had/have with faith. Well, I was born and raised in the Salvation Army and I couldn't think of a better group of people to praise God with, but as we all know, faith is hard. Most of all for me, I was questioned about my faith, especially in high school. I think most of us understand why high school can be a bit questioning, especially if you don't go to a Christian based high school. But, even if you do go to a Christian based high school, these events may still relate to you.

When I first started school, my friends and I somehow made it to the stage where God came up in conversation. Of course, most of my friends did not believe in God, so if we had a theology debate, I was sure that I wouldn't win. This was when I first started school in Putaruru at Intermediate level (Year 7 and 8). Once I got to high school, I found that it wasn't a big topic by that time. What made it worse was that I did what most teenagers do in order to fit in. Because I went to a public school, I conformed to the ideals of school like swearing because it helped me fit in and having a girlfriend because it made me more recognised or even cool and because of other quite frankly lustful needs. By my senior years, I realised how stupid these ideas were and tried to change. It was a slow process but it turned out that, when my friend group changed, the changes started happening. I stopped swearing as much and, even though these friends were younger than me, I felt more free to be myself and not care about what others thought. 

I can somehow relate that to my faith journey because God is the oldest in my friend group and I'm one of the young kids - free, happy, careless about what other people think about my faith. We all consider God as our Father and I also see myself as reflecting God in that situation - the oldest person that doesn't care what other people think and will protect all of his younger friends, not just his favourite friends - and I know exactly who is my best friend in this group: Jesus.

I want to leave you with this verse that I find quite relatable to me. I feel that it isn't a particularly well known verse, but to me it is exactly what I need in this stage in my life:

1 Peter 5:7 (NLT)  "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you."