06 August 2009

Update - Because Mrs Z. asked

I have settled into classes and am getting the hang of two classrooms for each class – one for 2hr lectures, and a different one for 1hr lectures. Hmmm, there isn’t much to update. I was able to go with Amy to WACA – worship and creative arts – on Tuesday night and will be spending a few Tuesday nights with the team then auditioning and joining the choir and maybe get to do Youth before I leave. I have a feeling I won’t want to leave in November though. I \’d like to transport a long list of people here and live in Australia forever. That would be fine by me. But I have some unfinished business at home and around the world that I will be involved in taking care of so Australia will have to wait for my return. But things are good. Still a bit cold and windy but I am excited for summer to come! I’m used to sleeping with a fan and having the buzzing noise drown out all other sounds but haven’t got one here so my nights are far from restful. I am still waking up to loudy loud birds around 6am who sing me awake until 7am and then leave at which point I am obliged to fall back asleep. I’ve been really getting into prayer more and praying in the spirit more often and getting into the word. I found an Australian New Testament with the outline of Australia on the front and I’ve decided to read it like I’d read any other book – front to back. And I’m highlighting all the passages that I find powerful, funny, odd, or just interesting. I often find when I read with purpose I find more. Profound I know. I’ll put up a picture of the Bible so check out the link to the right of this blog for pictures! I’ve been spending more time with the kids from Kings. Tuesday was Big Night Out – where all the Knect groups come together the first Tuesday of the night and worship together and hear Pastor Steve Penny speak about the focus for the month and reiterate anything the Lord has been speaking to him for the body. After church I went with Ben and Chrissy to McDonalds. We then went to the beach and sat on a big boulder overlooking the ocean and the reflection of the moon and ate our burgers. After climbing some rocks and feeling like I might die if I fall – scary – we went to Lucy, Sam, Brooke, and Lauren’s house to watch High School Musical 3. It was fun times with lots of singing – Little Mermaid mostly.
Now, I am sitting in the apartment alone – it is Uni night at the club downtown and drinks are cheap so kids all head that way for the evening. The tele is on in the lounge room and my door is open because I don’t like to be alone in a house. So voices are good. I am starting work on my oral presentation for next week in International Politics because I decided to get mine out of the way and go first. Overachiever – well trying to be! Ha! Um, let’s see. I miss kids. Just in general I miss children being around. I forgot how much joy they bring me. At WACA the other night there was a 2 yr old boy with his mom and I was making faces at him and making him smile and hide in his mom’s shoulder while we sang. I miss my kids at the daycare! Heaps and Heaps! I hope I get to spend lots of time with kids in my life. They are so very important o me. Being able to positively influence and affect a child is one of the most powerful investments one can make – and most rewarding I think. I am still looking and praying for a job. I’ve been applying at places in the mall and sending my resume but haven’t heard anything yet. The zoo hasn’t gotten back in touch with me either. But Lucy said she would take me to the zoo which would be exciting! I’ve never been to a zoo – and no the Bolivian rain forest doesn’t count as a zoo! Ha ha! I’ve also applied to go to the capital Canberra (CAN-bera) for two days in September for an International Student Roundtable. It is organized and paid for by the Australian government and used as a tool to hear what the experience is for International students in Australia. I am really praying for favor for this. It would be such an honor to play a role in advising the Australian government on ways to improve their system as well as commend the many wonderful things they already are doing. Please pray for favor for this for me! It would be an amazing experience. I would be meeting heads of State such as the Deputy Prime Minister. Go here to find out more about it - http://www.studyinaustralia.gov.au/Sia/en/RndTblInfo.htm

I was able to speak to my family today on AIM Talk and it was wonderful! JJ's voice is going to be deeper when I come back I think. I miss my sister and brother heaps and heaps! JJ wanted to know about my apartmenT – he emphasized the T at the end! I hope I’ll be able to talk to the kids at the daycare soon! It would be such fun to hear their little voices again. Yay for kids! Australian Idol starts Sunday and I am excited for that.
Not much else to report. My shower leaks and my sink drips so I’ve had to shut my bathroom door when I sleep. But yeah, things are good, God is great , and life on the Sunshine Coast is grand!

01 August 2009

Update - More about Kings

Hillsong Worship Pastor, Darlene Zscech was at Kings Church Friday night and she spoke on Prayer. She spoke about the importance of pure, zealous prayer. Prayer and praise go hand in hand. Don’t complicate the goodness of God; Thank Him in everything – it is His will; don’t fret or have anxiety about anything but in everything give Him thanks; Prayer is about trust; keep your mind on Him and you’ll have peace. These were all points she made about the power of prayer and praise. Darlene, or Darls as she likes to be called, shared of a time she went to Lima, Peru and was able to see dire, complete, desperate poverty. She teared up as she told the story of one woman who had nothing, who had broken a ligament in her leg and could barley use it and was in crippling pain with no medicine or medical attention, but she wanted to thank God for her life. She wanted to praise Jesus for her family and for the beautiful day. Darls shared about that experience and how it wrecked her. She was so ashamed to be called a Christian when standing next to this powerful prayer warrior. She wanted to be as adamant about Jesus as the woman in the dirt hut was. And Darls shared that she is now becoming so much bolder in her prayers. She encouraged us to prayer with expectancy and with thanksgiving in our mouths for the miracle. It was really powerful! After the service I was able to talk with her as she was heading upstairs to the leaders lounge. And I told her about the Watch on Friday nights and Pastor Mahesh’s book The Hidden Power of Prayer and Fasting. I thanked her and Hillsong for all of their worship and told her we’ve been doing their stuff for years and are so thankful for their hearts. She thanked us for doing the Watch and said that they [Hillsong] was right there with us and were adamant about prayer and fasting as well! She gave me a big hug and it was amazing. I almost started crying talking to her – she just leaks the presence and spirit of true worship. Oh it was powerful!
Then Saturday night was Empire Youth and I was invited to come to the leader’s meeting beforehand and told the schedule of events for the evening. The setup is at 6pm everyone arrives and the back of the church is set up for games – table tennis – a huge Wii screen with couches and chairs, and three bungees hanging from the steel beams of the ceiling and kids were just free to play and swing and talk. There was coffee and Milo [which is delicious and I’ll bring some home – worry not] for kids to drink and music videos up on the screens in the front. Then at 7 the band starts up and everyone comes to the front. All the lights are out except the stage lights and it’s set up like a concert. And they did just one song and then an announcement video came up about upcoming youth events – camp, the monthly youth focus – Generosity, etc. Then Pastor Dusty (youth pastor) asked if anyone suffered from fear attacks and that God wanted to deliver them and we laid hands on them and prayed for kids. And then we went back to the back for a group game called the cube of death. Two people were wrapped in blow up mattresses and tied up in the bungees and hanging about four feet off the ground. And the bungee in the middle was tied around a mattress. One team was on each end of the back with a big foam cube and a person on top of the cube. The goal was for each team to make it to the other side without the person falling off the cube. The catch was that the two people in the blow up mattresses were being swung around by two guys and the middle mattress as being swung as well. So they had to dodge the swinging people and mattresses. So, needless to say it was very exciting but the mom in me came out a few times and I did the classic mom gasp and cover your mouth. It was fun though. There was also a skateboard ramp set up outside the church. When you get to Empire Youth, the foyer has loud music playing with a sign in table with info cards for new kids and some greeters. After the cube of death we went back for more worship and Dusty speaking on Generosity. We also watched a video that some guys at the church made – called Jeanerosity. Where this one guy goes up to people in the street and asks them if they like his jeans and tries to give his jeans away as a means of being generous. It was hilarious but the kids enjoyed it. They don’t care if they break the rules and act stupid, they do things to attract young people and then once they’ve got their attention, they love on them and bring them to Jesus. It was great! Then offering, another song, and the end. But afterwards, people are free to keep playing Wii and eat pancakes. So it is a really great time and loads of fun. Probably 150 kids there. I even swung on the ropes and have two bruises from the rope – not so fun, but still a little fun.
Kings is really about getting people out to church events. At each service there are video announcements about the next months activities and functions. There is a Charity Golf Game, A Vintage Fashion Show Tea, and lots of other things. One thing they are doing next Sunday is Servolution Sunday. Where they set up booths for each of the departments you can serve in and they require you give a six month commitment. And each six months they do it again and it keeps people involved but gives them the freedom to get involved with something else after six months. I haven’t seen their Heros kids church yet but I have a class with the Kids Pastor and will be speaking with him more about it. Aaron, you would have fainted if you had seen the size of the mac in their editing suit. OH MY GOSH!! It was beautiful! All cordless mics, different drummers set up their own kits, two soundboards and a light board operator. Only musicians have in-ears. Everyone else has their own monitor and the sound is cranking!! And guess what…NO FEEDBACK!! What!!?? I know, miraculous. Ha! There is a soundboard stage left off the stage and that guy mixes the musicians in-ears and singers’ monitors. I like this guy. The stage is really cool. It has a catwalk that comes out from underneath and stairs for it that all get pushed into the front. Speakers and light coming out of your ears and guess what else – they can film in the dark!!! Super cool, I know! There could be three can lights on and they can still use the video cameras! Ha ha!! So, yeah, they have a really good set up and they use technology really well.