Tips For A Short Term Trip

posted by: wade

The list for what not to do is fairly long, however Relevant magazine have some awesome tips on short term trips. ‘One of the main tips is to do things with people, not for people… And that should be the motto, always’.

Long Bay Baptist team did an awesome job at including locals in everything they did. Here they are below enjoying loading up sand from the beach – although for some reason this particular pickup took five times the usual amount of time!

Read more tips from the article ‘Things No One Tells You About Short Term Mission Trips’ at Relevant magazine.

Race Car Faith

posted by: wade

Many drivers have to weigh up whether to build a race car from scratch, or buy one already done.
There are positives & negatives to both.
An already built car is often a less time consuming option, and doesn’t cost you as much. But you don’t always know everything that makes up the car you’re racing, if corners have been cut for quality, or what exactly that extra switch under the dashboard does.
Building a car takes for ever (it feels), long drawn out nights working on getting the body straight, welding the roll cage, fitting the suspension & brakes. But you get a car you have invested your soul into, you know every nut & bolt, one you know will keep you safe if you crash.
I’ve noticed some people have faith like these options. Some folks go to church because their parents did, or its a good thing to do on a Saturday or Sunday. Or they like the idea of going to Heaven, but haven’t done much else about it.
That kind of faith is a bit like spraying a quick bit of paint over an old shell, fitting some big wheels and a shiny muffler that makes lots of noise. You may look the part, and people like the look & sound of you, but when it comes to the crunch, there’s nothing in the build quality of your faith, to keep you together.

Some people have faith based on their experience getting to know the package from the ground up. Knowing Jesus for who he really is, and taking the time to assemble the nuts & bolts of having a relationship with God, makes all the difference.
When you’re out on the track and hit a wet patch, or you mis-judge a corner and run into the sand trap, or some-one else gives you a tap mid-apex & you hit the wall hard, that is when you notice the difference between a ‘shiny-on-the-outside-faith’, and a ‘solid-8-point-roll-caged’ Jesus.
So I would encourage everyone, take the time, get to know Him. Don’t just go through the motions… you’ll only fall apart when you least expect it.
Lance Somervell.

The most addictive drug teens are experimenting with

posted by: wade

The moment I knew internet pornography had cast its dark shadow over the lives of millions of ordinary teenagers will live with me for ever.

I was sitting in the smart drama hall of a specialist sports college in the North of England with a fantastic reputation.

Before me were a group of 20 boys and girls, aged 13-14. Largely white, working class children, they were well turned-out, polite, giggly and shy.

Read more through the following link:
The biggest threat to today’s youth
Or, watch a video of the behavioral effects of pornography.

Awesome Vanuatu video by Luke Jarrett…

posted by: wade

We loved this cool video made by Luke Jarrett, who has just got home from a mission trip to Vanuatu with his team from Narrabeen Baptist, Australia. These guys built a water tank and worked with kids and people in a small community in Teouma, Efate – making a huge impact on lives there.

Vanuatu Mission 2013 from Luke Jarrett on Vimeo.

Do I have to be uncool to be Christian?

posted by: wade

The following came about after having dinner with some good friends and my wife and I being the only Christians in the group.

I feel often that when I explain what I do for a job and that I’m a Christian, people look at me a certain way. And as I pondered this I also thought, “Why is it that when I am around my non-Christian friends, they all have heaps of crazy stories about Christians and about Church? And why is it that when I am sharing about what God has done in my life I feel I have to dumb it down to the people I am talking to, so they don’t just put me in the ‘hates fags, Bible basher’ box?”

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It’s worth thinking about… and it’s probably long overdue for me, as I’ve been in my current role running a short-term mission organisation for over five years now. So I started thinking, are there any actual ‘cool’ Christians or does “Deny yourself and follow me” as Jesus once said, mean that coolness must go out the window and that I just have to put up with being viewed as that guy?

I know that ‘being in the world but not of it’ is a good justification to people who stand on the corners in our cities and preach through a loudspeaker, but I got to thinking. Will Christians ever be respected by the ‘world’ so to speak, or are we destined to be an uncool, religious movement? I didn’t want to answer this question so I then thought, “Are there some fundamental human concepts that everyone agrees on?”, i.e. a common thought amongst Christian and non-Christian on what is cool Christianity in our culture?

Yip, there is. Mother Theresa was her name. Now for the haters out there, some are going to argue that she was actually Catholic and not Christian but I’m talking about this on the broad spectrum of loving Jesus and Him being at the centre of our lives.

Now obviously this blog is not about being a cool Christian, because being cool is not the end focus, being Jesus-like is. And Mother Theresa was never hip, but she was, and still is, highly respected. But why? Mother Theresa’s walk with God was nothing but sacrifice on top of sacrifice. She was hardcore, stubborn and yet so compassionate at the same time. Not only did she take a vow of poverty she put herself at the bottom of the pecking order (in her own Order), so that she was always wearing the worst of the donated shoes, to the point of having deformed feet because of this.

So maybe we should be asking ourselves (myself obviously included), if Mother Theresa is so respected but we are not, then what is missing? Have we gone astray in looking to be cool and seeker-friendly rather than wholeheartedly embracing what Jesus taught us those 2000 years ago?

My conclusion to my inner monologue (which has now been blogged) is this.

Are we living our lives in a way that truly reflects the Kingdom of God, or are we being part of the problem of weak, watered down Christians who only seem to be known by what they hate and don’t like as opposed to what, how and who they love?