Blog

Humour Me, God...

Linda Blog

I've always heard that God can be rather humorous. I'm not sure whether our humour is completely different or I'm just too slow to get it straight away, but I’m one of those people who always has a ‘click’ moment like 10 minutes after the joke is over and miss the opportunity to laugh at it, but take it anyway. My guess is that it is the latter.

Not only does it apply to humour, but also life. I find that I'm either rushing in the fast lane and miss out on the view, or I don’t take the time to stop and reflect and miss out on lessons that I could have learnt.

Something I learnt at Revolution Hawaii (RevHi) is that God does have a plan, and more often than not, makes it a regular thing to flip my plans so I have trust in him more. Recently, I've found it's so much more of an adventure than I could ever imagine.

Very quickly after starting the Revolution Hawaii essentials course (which is an intensive discipleship training course), I realised I had made a mistake not staying for the whole year. Don’t worry, God had other ideas. The day I arrived in Hawaii, the camp coordinator, Fulton, asked what I did and told him that I was a nurse. Straight away he stated, as more of a passing comment, that they were looking for a nurse for summer camp at the place we were living - Camp Homelani (Hawaiian for 'heavenly home'). It was a beautiful serene place with palm trees, cabins and its own little piece of the beach - perfectly named. 

Fulton’s comment was something that I couldn’t brush off, and a month into this journey of healing, God showed me what my next step was - I had an interview and became Camp Homelani's next summer camp nurse.

Before I went to Revhi, I was working in a rest home as a nurse. How I became a nurse is another story of God’s perfect timing, but that’s for another time. Pretty much from the start, people kept saying "you’re going to work with young people." I thought that was rather hilarious seeing as I was currently nursing old and palliative people. But sure enough, it was God telling me what was ahead, whether I was ready for the ride or not. Oh, what an adventure it has been! From being a camp nurse for kids (and staff) to returning home after 6 amazing months only to become the youth worker at the church I grew up in, the one I call home. I was welcomed home with open arms.

One of my best friends, Claire, was the youth worker but took a year off after having an adorable little son, so I filled in for her. These guys are probably the best thing that could have happened to me. They are a daily reminder that God is good, that he loves me and has a plan bigger than my own. I've made some amazing friends and been able to use what I learnt at Revhi to help guide the youth towards him too. They have taught me how to be relational and how listening is sometimes the easiest thing (which is also funny because I'm actually partly deaf - more of God's humour) because I don’t have all the answers. He has used every situation for his good because I've been able to be there for people in ways that I wouldn't have been able to without the experiences I’ve had. Awaken Youth, Robert and Susan (my Corps Officers) and their family, the rest of the church, and more importantly, God, have kept me strong and hopeful when my world fell apart after I returned.

Through this, I feel as though God has been holding me, moulding me, breaking me, remaking me, healing me and guiding me.

Yes, God, you got the last laugh - even though sometimes I don't get it straight away, I LOVE your humour. I give you permission to keep using me as your joke subject because I'm all in - don't worry I'm sure I'll understand it later on.

P.S. I really recommend Revolution Hawaii. If you are between 18 and 30 and want your world rocked, to fall more in love with Jesus, doing mission every day, then apply now at: 

https://www.revolutionhawaii.org They are taking application NOW!

A Change of Focus

Ben Blog

Have you ever thought to yourself, ‘If I could just live out the fruits of the spirit more then I’d have such a better relationship with God’ or, ‘If I could just stop doing that one sin that I’m struggling with, then I would have such a better relationship with God’? I know I have definitely thought both of those things at different times. We want to give our best for God and live a life of a higher calling, so we focus on ourselves, focusing on the areas of our lives that we think we need to address the most. Sounds like a pretty good idea, right?

Well, if you’re anything like me, the more I have focused in on my sin problem, or my ‘failure to do good works’ problem, the more I have realised that I am just not good enough to fix these areas of my life on my own. So, once I’d come to this conclusion, what did I do about it? Of course, being the stubborn little man that I am, I figured the only solution was to simply keep looking inward at myself and to keep trying to just “be better”. And over and over the cycle went. I would describe this process as banging your head against a strong (probably Australian-built) brick wall in the genuine hope of achieving a breakthrough and smashing down the wall. Perhaps you can relate.

So where is the issue in all of this? Why are you not seeing results? Is it that you’re not putting in enough effort? Maybe just trying a bit harder will fix the problem? No. The issue is our focus! You see, when we put the focus on ourselves and we look at ourselves, we see brokenness and we see our shortcomings. Instead we ought to change our focus, change who we are looking at and focusing on. We need to focus on God.

God will thrive in your brokenness if you allow Him. Instead of just trying to fix your shortcomings on your own, surrender them to God and see how He will abound! This change of focus will build your relationship with God and your trust in Him. Over time, God will give you the strength to overcome your sin issue. Your ‘good works’ issue won’t be a chore to complete anymore, but rather it will be a joy to put others first – a joy that flows out of your genuine relationship with God, like the sweetest honey flowing out of a saturated honeycomb.

Real, meaningful change starts with focussing on God, and He will not abandon you (Philippians 1:6).

For further reading, check out Psalm 102, Colossians 3 and Mark 2:17.