The following notes are from a presentation my church hosted for our youth group’s volunteer leaders on March 10, 2014.
Our speaker was Christian T. Hill, MA, from Alpine Connection Counseling.
The presentation was followed by a panel of 7 teens in recovery from self-harm who took questions from the audience.
[Trigger Warning: Cutting/ Self-injury/ Self-harm]
It is a little strange still to answer “Which church do you go to?” with “Sovereign Grace”. I admit, my head still spins a little at the idea that I have begun to walk the path of a new season in my life without really noticing. Seasons, seeming to slip by me.
I love my church. I’ve learnt to stop being critical and simply to enjoy what God has blessed me with in this church. There are heaps of opportunities to serve and be served. Yesterday Dave, our pastor, was preaching from Acts 9, how when Paul was saved he immediately sought out the church family, a reminder that we were not created to walk this path alone.
Pastor Dave was really encouraging us to believe and understand that although Paul had a unique role in the early church and the writing of the bible, the way in which he was equipped was no different from how Christians even now are equipped. God changes Paul’s worldview, as one who breathed out murder and threats against the church to being willing to face his old Hellenist pals and be targeted for persecution as a result. God gave us a church which functions as a family, a spiritual hospital and an army. Finally, God gave Paul His Spirit, that Paul would preach with much boldness.
We were reminded at the end of the service then to not go out from the church, but to go out AS the church.
I understand that recently God’s been doing some major renovations in my heart, as he turns my heart to understand the importance not only of discipleship but of evangelism, how we all as Christians have been called to go out and proclaim the unstoppable gospel for the glory of His name.
Immediately he began proclaiming Jesus in the synagogues: “He is the Son of God” - Acts 9:20
Will you just check out how epic some of these filofax decorating business is?!
It’s literally a bunch of people who love colour and love to be organised, so they thought they’d design their work to be super productive and not only does it look fun and cool, to me it is such a low pressure form of design that’s almost like collaging your life together, making different patterns and what not to suit every mood, task and plan imaginable. Did you know this was a thing? Because I sure didn’t! But I love it!
Please click through the links on the photos to check out the source!
Just dropping in to ask for some prayers. I’ve been struck down by a cold! It coincided with Dave going back to the hospital for prac, which means he brings super bugs with him home or when he comes to visit me.
I love university and work, and being sick is kind of lame. Thanks for the love (:
I’ll tell you what though. I make one bad honey lemon tea! Haha
Sunday, 2nd March 2014
WELCOME AUTUMN. And truly it was a worthy autumn day with pouring rains. I was so happy for the opportunity to hang out with these cuties, and was encouraged that some of them weren’t Christians too. I am thankful that my non-Christian friends care about what I believe in, but also thankful for God who softens hearts and opened doors.
Monday, 3rd March 2014
The university classes begin! My first really intellectual activity in about four months was a merciless three hour tutorial but thankfully God provided friends, just as I had hoped and prayed that He would! I love also how this course I’m doing is designed for Masters students so that it’s highly practical, to the point and condensed. Excited for these few subjects!
Tuesday, 4th March 2014
Just two hours doing an English seminar and as a senior subject my heart was a mixed bag of emotions, from fear to excitement. The books we are required to read however are a shocking size. In the afternoon I got to hang out with my beautiful school friends, and David and Chris. Then afterwards David took the train with me home, because he is such a chivalric man.
Wednesday, 5th March 2014
One more hour seminar and it was light and easy. Spent the afternoon at home before heading off to a really tiring session of work. Afterwards, I rushed on over to David’s house and had dinner with his parents, but their house was in preparations for moving down to Rockdale. I am genuinely so excited to have them just next door. I am not missing those long drives to and from Parramatta!
Thursday, 6th March 2014
I spent to day getting started on Bleeding Edge by Thomas Pynchon in all its 477 pages of glory. Upon finishing Hemingway though, I was in a really good mood and was able to super productive. I made chicken katsu curry for my family and then had work after which I came home to catch up on my favourite TV show currently, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Friday, 7th March 2014
Today I went into RICE Office to just cover some ground with RICE Trials being a stressful ball of fun. Please pray for us!
Yes, I’d love to run a cafe, but if I’m not super talented like some of my business friends because of my unfortunately soft heart, I always wished I could be just like the woman who started Kikki.k. Let me introduce you to Kristina whose brief and promotional story can be found here.
Currently, I bind books. I always thought that maybe if the cafe thing didn’t work out, nor the teaching then if I could I’d spend heaps of time (more, anyways) investing in creativity and creating! I would make small lifestyle things designed and unique. I guess that’s kind of trendy these days?
In the meanwhile, I can see how creativity is just such a gift in ministry or at church, from the people who design promotional material of church events to those who run craft workshops for the women who attend church, like the one for Sovereign Grace women that is running in the coming weeks (: I am looking forward to seeing how God would like me to use whatever He’s given me for His purposes.
I want to thank all those who have been so supportive of my timid dreams, encouraging me to never hide behind, “oh it’s probably impossible”s and, “maybe in another lifetime”. It makes all the difference!
This week, I am thankful for shared experiences.
28th Anniversary dinner with David at Miss Chu, Regent Place.
Drink: Cucumber, lychee and coconut juice slushie - I am definitely getting this again. Refreshing, not too sweet and very original!
Entrees: Seafood spring rolls, steamed BBQ pork bun - favourites, no complaints!
Mains: Beef and vermicelli salad with coriander, steamed fish and bok choy with royal quinoa and red rice - I’ll be honest, it tastes like family dinners which meant that it was comforting but nothing too special.
Thankful for the evening (: We spent it chatting then we went to watch The Wind Rises which was an AMAZING movie.
Thank you, David for this magnificent Valentine’s Day gift!
I present to you the pride and joy of my many creatively-oriented books. This is called Creative lettering, put together by a Jenny Doh.
It features pages that explores a selection of artist’s lettering expertise as well as technical instructions on how to recreate them, or develop your own style.
I actually wanted another book but David went and read reviews everywhere and he said that this was the best one! I personally absolutely love it because it’s filled with great ideas and super friendly to beginners.
They love to shake things up and have heaps of different practical ways to apply these styles of lettering.
I am immensely thankful for David’s generosity and encouragement to continue to pursue creative things, especially because I often feel very untalented and untalented-feeling people need to have a lot of encouragement even just to do very little. To pursue progress is a courageous act.
God is a god who reconciles broken relationships. Our sinful tendencies want us to believe this lie that it is impossible to forgive a person. We feel hurt and broken and upset and dejected and bitter and cut and hurt when someone cuts us deeply, regardless of intentionality. Sin damages…
This is how I’m going to tackle study this year
You sexy planner, you.
I have recently moved from a digital planner to a paper one. Thanks to my lovely high school friends who bought me this adorable diary for my 21st.
The first thing you’ll notice is that it’s huge. That is a good thing (contrary to popular opinion) because I will always remember to bring it with me when my bag is feeling too light. I admit, I am a little shy about bringing it out to look at or write in at the risk of being judged in class, but whatever I’m fabulous.
Laptop that can actually sit on top of my lap
MacBook Air, you da best. David was amazing and partitioned it for me, which means that it can run both iOS (for creative endeavours like photo and video editing) and Windows 8.1 (for epic word processing). It’s light and fits in a regular-sized bag with 12 hour battery life. What’s not to love?
Synced up timetables like cuties
My brother and I have wildly different timetables. He has 24 hours whilst I have 6 hours a week, but I must insist that this is a good thing, because I will have reason to do my readings at the libraries in uni whilst I wait for my brother. I realise the reason I have fewer hours is to make way for a truly terrifying workload in terms of readings.
David is not often at UNSW
Therefore no reason make that 1 hour bus ride to UNSW to visit him. Score.
Friends are important, and although I’ve made it through 2 years without them, I can’t keep this up. Will you please pray for me? That God would provide for me friends of any background, beliefs, whatever that I could share with and work together with? Thank you!
Now before you get to judging me for choosing to post about the Hemingway book I feel the need to remind you of two things:
I’ll be honest, when I first started reading this book it was possibly the biggest mess of pretentiousness I have ever been forced to read (except for probably Patrick White’s “Voss”).
The book starts off in the creative/intellectual/literature side of Paris surrounding the love affair of problematic and tragically selfish aspiring, young, passionate authors. Seriously, it felt like I was reading about Sydney Uni. It was devoid of language that really sucked me in. Or so I thought.
To my surprise, the next time I put down the book since I opened it was to the pressing need to eat. I hadn’t realised how the book just so effortlessly drew me in. I didn’t feel like I was obliged to care too much about the characters, because they were messed up in their own right (almost because they had to be tragically complicated to draw inspiration to write from), and it was hard to feel pity for people who dug their own hole and jumped in it for the sake of creative inspiration.
At this point, I’m not sure if my experience of Sydney Uni literature students is being informed by this novel, or the other way around.
Reading Psalm 58 tonight after reading about some of the many terrible things that have happened all around the world is a comfort to a burdened and heavy heart, and a reminder of this groaning creation. I praise God that He promises justice for those who were wronged, and that in Him we have hope that all things will be made right.
1 Do you indeed decree what is right, you gods?
Do you judge the children of man uprightly?
2 No, in your hearts you devise wrongs;
your hands deal out violence on earth.
3 The wicked are estranged from the womb;
they go astray from birth, speaking lies.
4 They have venom like the venom of a serpent,
like the deaf adder that stops its ear,
5 so that it does not hear the voice of charmers
or of the cunning enchanter.
6 O God, break the teeth in their mouths;
tear out the fangs of the young lions, O Lord!
7 Let them vanish like water that runs away;
when he aims his arrows, let them be blunted.
8 Let them be like the snail that dissolves into slime,
like the stillborn child who never sees the sun.
9 Sooner than your pots can feel the heat of thorns,
whether green or ablaze, may he sweep them away!
10 The righteous will rejoice when he sees the vengeance;
he will bathe his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Mankind will say, “Surely there is a reward for the righteous;
surely there is a God who judges on earth.”
Officially at Sovereign Grace, Week Three!
I love going to church with these guys. It is a profound joy to be spending Sundays with not only Bonnie, Jenny, Chris and David but also my new church family at Sovereign Grace.
I’m loving it so far and it’s only week two. Keen to see where God takes us!
Sunday, 23rd February 2014
Second every Starting Point with my new church family Sovereign Grace! I realised that because I eat breakfast at 7am, leave the house at 7:45am to pick up Jenny at 8:15am and make it to church by 9am for Starting Point, both Jenny and I need to bring snacks so that we won’t die on the way to our 2:30pm lunch!
Monday, 24th February 2014
Spent the entire day at David’s house in Parramatta as the final weeks are catching up to us before he makes it over to his new home in Rockdale! Their family has started parking, and I hope that things will go well that process. We spent the day playing Assassins Creed IV, reading, playing Professor Leyton on my 3DS and napping. I admit I won’t miss the drives all the way to Parramatta, but I might just MIGHT miss the proximity to El Jannahs.
Tuesday, 25th February 2014
I started a brand new top secret endeavour to make a difference in how I use Tumblr to share and show my life. It occurred to me that by structuring my writing in some way I can avoid really emotional posts, and concentrate more on being outward looking. Thank you for reading and being so encouraging!
Wednesday, 26th February 2014
Spent the day writing Tumblr posts to cue up for what seems to be a busy week ahead with uni. I had lunch with Mum and came to understand that our relationship had yet again shifted and I was very much an adult in her eyes now. It’s weird having to always check how she is and to look after her physically. I can’t walk too fast otherwise I’ll lose her. I forget too often my parents are growing old, but I thank God that I have had them with me so long so far…
Thursday, 27th February 2014
I got to meet up with Kirsten! She’s the best <3! Then I spent lunch with Aaron and one of his recently high school graduated friends before trying out cold drip coffee from Bluebird café in Regent Place. Very strong, but I love these experiences, and I thank God for the opportunity and the means to have them.
Mornings are always find-the-owner-and-cuddle time. All the animals will come and find you for a big cuddle in the mornings
This morning, I opened the door to Aaron’s room and they all jumped on his bed with him and cuddled! What is super cute though is that these animals know how to pose! There’s eye contact for most of these photos and they were keen to get up close and personal.
Chai, Mocha, Cino, Latte
Pretty annoyed that focus just isn’t happening with this cam.