Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year Of Kings...

“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year, or even one term, but…I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there. I promise you: We as a people will get there.”

-President Elect Barrack Obama

2008…what can be said? Well actually quite a lot, as this blog will point out. This is the first time I’ve ever done a year in review blog, and looking back on the year gone by…it’s staggering everything which has happened. Not just in the global scale, but in community life, and personal life.

I’m going to try and remember as much of this year as I possibly can, but if there is anything I forget, please let me know, and I’ll make changes where necessary.

The quote above comes from one Barrack Obama, the new President Elect, who fought a long and hard campaign battle to get to where he is today, less than 3 weeks from his inauguration. For this year, much hope has come from this man, and maybe finally the world has turned a new page…perhaps his words will come true…can we change? “Yes We Can…”

But it hasn’t been all fluffy bunny cakes this year…The world is facing the biggest financial crisis in over 5 decades, with shares falling, banks becoming stringent money-grubbers, and the trigger fingers of the Wall Street share holders going crazy. Not only that, but every country has had to come up with a way to protect themselves from the ensuing crisis, with Ireland releasing an early, and frankly appalling budget, in October.

Petrol has fluctuated, prices have shifted, VAT has been upped, or if you’re lucky to be living in the UK, lowered…it’s all a cavalcade of mayhem. Education cuts, medical cards, cycling incentives, protests, the NO vote on the Lisbon treaty…all of this has take place within the Emerald Isle…and let’s not forget about the scandals…

It must be great to be Mary Harney, being able to have a private pianist play for her, and enjoy a nice beauty treatment all at the cost of the tax payer…did I mention it was in Bora Bora…screw the Mechanical Engineer idea, a bloody politician seems like the right way to go…

Ever ensuing wars have broken out, attacks escalated in Afghanistan, Iraq… but what about the news which doesn’t make the headlines? What about the child soldiers in Uganda, the slave labourers in Asia, the crippled state of countries hit by natural disasters? Seems like even a good hurricane doesn’t generate enough interest nowadays for the media to profit off of…

Speaking of media, there have been some great TV and Movie moments…I know this sounds contradictory to the last paragraph, but what are you going to do? For me, 24 Redemption has to be the TV highlight of the year, with movie honours going to The Dark Knight and Twilight

Games have also been in great anticipation, with the release of major titles such as GTAIV, Fallout 3, Little Big Planet, Gears of War 2, and my personal favourite, and recently voted as GameStop’s game of the year, Metal Gear Solid 4…

Sport…well I’m not majorly into the whole thing, but this year played host to what is possibly the greatest Olympics in our time…Lewis Hamilton won the F1 championship, along with many other events being hosted, including Wimbledon, US Masters, boxing championships, rugby…ohh and not forgetting Strictly Come Dancing

We’ve had crisis’ in Africa too…Along with the growing rate of AIDS victims, child soldiers and orphans, we’ve had coup d’├ętats, fighting, and cover ups, all within the state of Zimbabwe…

But all of this has happened outside of our general communities. You see, as much as this blog is dedicated to looking back on major events, such as the above suggests, much has happened within our own personal lives… These are the major events of this past year for me;

I suppose the first noticeable thing to those of you reading is that I started up this blog in September. This has been a great vent for me to write, giving me the freedom to develop writing skills, and also share with you what I feel about a certain topic, or sharing my experiences.

New Year’s came, and now it returns, and as this happens, my mind cannot be helped but be drawn to school. I completed Trans year, and started 5th in exuberant fashion…which was quickly dispelled in the following weeks. But I am so glad I did Trans year. It gave me a break that I needed, but more importantly, I did so much during that year than any other… Adventure activities, plays, radio shows, projects, work experience and just general fun times within school, and because of it, I feel I have grown somewhat in myself…

5th year on the other hand, not such a doddle… for those of you doing 5th, I think its pretty safe to assume you know how difficult it is…man, there is a lot of work involved, so much more than I expected… However, I was well pleased with my exam results, and feeling confident heading into the next half of the year…

I got a new laptop and mp3…which at this current moment, has nearly 5000 songs on it. And the laptop has been fantastic, not breaking down a single time, or having to wait 2 months to get it fixed…not looking at anyone in particular *cough* Bernard *cough*

Family life this year has been testing. As I gain maturity, many of my emotions begin to surface unexpectedly. Not only that, but my uncle Mike, aged 65, finally returned home after battling cancer for 4 years. This was hard on everyone, especially my Gran and Grand-dad. And speaking of whom, has just returned home after being hospitalized for over 2 months now.

I’ve been to many events outside of school, with a big focus going to Wesley’s awesome production of Grease. I’ve also been to see Tennis legends play in the Odyssey, seen Paramore rock my socks off, and been to the Christian equivalent of Oxygen, MAD.

A major part of this year was the holidays, and this year has to be the best by far. My family and Bernard headed over to Budapest for around a week. And the fun we had! Check out a previous blog everything which happened on that holiday.

Camps and conferences have been a big part of this year for me. Beyond 48 was a great experience down in Kilkenny College. RAW was possibly the greatest Ovoca camp I’ve ever been to. GAP was a truly inspiring time. Check previous blog entries or my bebo page for posts on each of them…

Speaking of which, I set up Prayer4Hope on bebo, in response to the need of a very good friend of mine. Please take a look at it if you haven’t already…

Those of you who remember, may recount that I had a job in the local SuperValu, working as a butcher. In the months leading up to Summer, I felt the need to spend time with my family, and so handed in my resignation. I’ve read countless books in the mean time, including several Rob Bell books, Donald Millar, C. S. Lewis, Fred Stoeker, and my personal favourite, reading the 4 gospels in the space of two months. I have also completed a study on 1st Thessalonians, and will be providing a link in the New Year.

Church has played a major role this year, and its seems I have finally settled down in City Gates, a church in Cabinteely. I have enjoyed every time I have visited, and plan on making a return shortly. I have also managed to attend a number of their youth group meetings, entitle GAP and I have to say it has been a huge encouragement for me to go there, and have some of the most fun I have had in a long while.

Meet ups were quite standard, and once every month, or so, a group of us would get together to celebrate a birthday, or moving home, or just for the hell of it! It was at the meet up for my birthday, that I gave a talk on authenticity, and commissioned Christopher Ecclestone, as he headed off to America to study God’s word.

We’ve been to the cinema, enjoyed ramblings in the park, and just hung about. Major thanks have to go to Damo, who in the past two months, has met up with me and looked after me more times than I can remember. Props also have to go to Bernard, who put me up a number of times, and had general craic with.

Special mention must go to Teenstreet. This was probably the greatest experience I’ve had this year. The passion, the praise, the talks, the food…ok, not so much the food…the NET times, the general fun, the personal moments, the tears, the joy…all of this and more happened within the space of a week, and if I were to sum it up, I would have to say Life Changing, because that is what it was. Look out for my blog on the week.

Those of you who know me, know that I have struggled with an addiction to porn and other related activities. I continue to struggle with this, but I know a breakthrough is coming, because I have seen now what it takes to fight it back. Special thanks go to my accountability partner, who has walked this road with me, and cared for me. Thank you.

My family have been a huge encouragement to me throughout the year. Seeing them cope with the loss of my uncle was extraordinary, and seeing Dad complete our shed which has taken months of hard work is great to see. They’ve stayed up late at night, helped me study, but most importantly, been the best Mum and Dad ever. Thank you.

My friends have also played a huge significance throughout this year. From old to new, you have helped shaped me to become who I am today. Your constant care and support has been unwavering, and it is with the upmost gratefulness that I am honoured to be called your friends. Thank you.

And special mention most go to A and A…no, I’m not talking about the car recovery service…two friends who have been with me through hell and high water. You have helped me through so much; my addiction, during my uncle’s death, problems dealing with my faith…and out of all this, you two are without a doubt the most understanding people I know. Thank you.

And by now, if you haven’t figured it out, I am a Christian, and damn proud of it! My faith is my life, and one day, I plan on becoming a youth minister to spread the word of my Savior…

To you, my Jesus… Alpha and Omega. Beginning and End. The Lion and the Lamb. No words can describe the thankfulness that I have for your provision of strength, kindness, mercy, faith, hope, friendship, grace and love to me. It is you who I live for, now and for all my days, for there is none like you, my Jesus. Let your name be exalted on high, and may your glory touch the lives of others like it has touched mine. And may your voice, word and light be my guide for all my days. Thank you for what you did 2000 years ago, and continue to do everyday of our lives. May Christ be the centre of my life, and may I take up the challenge that you have given me: “To live as a Godly man, not just on the outside, but on the inside, and through everything I do…”

Already change is on the way. I have friends going to Africa with HFH, friends already in India helping the Leprosy Mission. I have exams coming up, friends doing their Leaving, me preparing for my Leaving. Friends moving away, and friends growing closer. A new president, and worrying financial future… Change is coming.

And so to 2009…

The Year of Change…

Bring it on…

Let Him be the Nexus of your life…

In His Name, and for His Glory…

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
-Ephesians 5:1-2

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
-Galatians 2:20

“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
-2 Corinthians 4:18

“The promise of being transformed and ignited to holy passion by understanding and beholding God’s glorious personality is for all believers. No matter how weak or strong we feel, regardless of our previous failures, irrespective of our natural temperaments or personalities, each of us can be set ablaze with passion for Jesus.”-Mike Bickle

“In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel.”-Ephesians 4:1

“Can I bear the torment,
Of the bloody war for my soul?
Or will I tumble into darkness once again?

Take this mind and mould,
You very existence into being,
For though I may not see it,
You still live inside of me.

Should darkness take me back,
And all I know separates,
You still hold he candle,
That can free me from its chains.

For you light will never die.”
-Philip King

“So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”
-2 Thessalonians 2:15

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance.”
-2 Thessalonians 3:5

“Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You've even seen him!””
-John 14:6

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” -John 3:16


-Bernard doing Daft Hands on aeroplane
-No glasses in glasses case for Bernard, forgot them in Ireland
-Taxi to the apartment got lost, despite using his GPS
-Switch card game score: 7-3 to Bernard
-No breakfast foods or drinks in the food
-Hungarian Nickelodion!
-Lidl, Aldi, Tesco, Spar, Subway all in Budapest

-Pillow Fight in the morning
-Hungarian Sex Shop (Szex Bolt)
-Got stuck in Spar trying to get out
-Got quarter in McDonalds, gave away receipt to stranger, therefore, I couldn’t go to the toilet!
-Lion with tits-Barbie Bus!
-Hotel beside the apartment had a toilet with triple ply
-Travelling on the Metro
-Trampoline in the City Park
-Statue with massive crotch in Baths
-Bought Bernard fizzy water instead of still
-Speckled Pigeon
-Phil being moody
-White hot chocolate
-FARD! (Card with “f” replacing “c”, used whenever we lost a game of Switch)
-Bernard’s camera getting soaked
-Having a bath
-Phil losing stuff
-Jog on Margeret Island
-Fountain on Margeret Island
-Dinner at Menza
-Bernard hiding in cupboard
-Sitting by the Danube
-Lady at Metro Station trying to fence with Phil
-Phil gets “diarrhoea” from burger
-Switch score: 15-7 to Bernard
-Fridge in our room on max, with nothing in it

-Bernard juggling knife
-Phil getting sick
-Bernard going to market, buys t-shirts
-Fly in Eye
-Funfair: losing several “children”, roller coaster, dodgems, “Break Dance”
-Bungee Trampoline, destroyed thighs
-Macarrana on Water Slide
-Making our videos (coming soon to YouTube)
-Phil being grumpy
-GAYE: Gay As You Earn
-Phil skipping sex scene in “Kingdom of Heaven”
-Phil tickling Bernard’s ass with his foot
-Phil: “Screw You!” Bernard: “No” *Bernard’s pants fall down*
-“Magic Trick”

-Bernard being grumpy
-Phil getting good night sleep
-Lots of pain
-Bernard no talks to Phil
-Getting lost in Metro Station
-Cable Car
-Long Walk in Buda Hills, got lost
-Bernard hopping himself
-Bernard climbing tree
-Phil getting stick
-Lovely steak dinner
-Children’s Railway
-Phil given out to by weirdo
-BOND: Brilliance Of Never Dying, BONDAGE
-Bernard whistles at girl, turns around
-Bernard playing air guitar on Metro
-Bernard spinning around, loses pants
-Went shopping in West End
-Hot Chocolate= “The Sex”
-Phil falling asleep on couch, forcing Bernard to break into the apartment
-Christian band outside Metro station
-Close call for Bernard getting on tram
-Bernard getting a Subway
-Watching Scrubs
-Watched rest of the “Kingdom of Heaven”
-Switch score: 20-8 to Bernard
-Bernard’s crotch is a “beautiful thing”
-Phil: “Deathness to all…” Bernard: “…And to all a good night”
-Bernard chocking on his own spit

-Phil longing for MGS4
-House of Terror
-Phil losing travel pass
-Bernard being very moody due to headache
-Swimming in rain in empty public pool
-Bernard loses contact lens
-Trying to help an American tourist
-Bernard sleeps because of moodiness
-Phil fails to order Subway, gets Bernard to do it instead
-Convo over white hot chocolate
-Phil intrigued by New York Subway System
-Convo about Phil’s “unmentionables”
-Being awkward in shop
-Mr. Bean
-“Szex Bolt” song
-Bernard takes out ice-cream to defrosts, 20 minutes later, puts it back in
-Bernard drops plug adaptor into glass of water
-Bernard goes to do painful sounding dump
-Afro Turtle

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Mutated Humanity...

I shant keep ye long, seen as Bernard be giving the ole “move along” hand gesture...

I seem to be taking a lot of my ideas from books...mainly on the Good Book...or the Good Books, depending on whether or not you’re a fan of Barets and Baretta.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, Donald Miller is a fantastic writer. I’ve just finished a chapter of Searching for God Know’s What entitled Children of Chernobyl. And so far, it has been the most interesting chapter of the book.

It’s hard to imagine, but I’ve had 5 cats in my small life time. My second cat, Heidi, was a beautiful gray cat. But at the same time, he was a pain in the bee-hind. He was incredibly annoying, but that didn’t affect how sad I was when he passed away. Looking back though, there was something I should have been sadder about...

It’s hard to imagine that the attacks on 9/11 actually happened. It sounds crazy when you really think about it. I mean, how could something like that happen in today’s day and age? It’s easy to the understand how the American people felt during that time...they were angry.

But not angry at what happened, they were angry that someone was trying to destroy the reputation that they had built. War has existed since, well forever, and leaving aside the fact that war’s have been fought in numerous names and beliefs, war, in its purest form, boils down to one man comparing himself to another.

But where did war come from?

You may not think it but war is a natural thing. Any simple act of violence against a group or individual can in essence be called war. War doesn’t just happen in the Middle East, or the Congo, or anywhere on the global scale...war is happening in our schools, our centres, parks, governments, it’s all around us, and it be stopped.

Adam and Eve get a lot of stick for a lot of what the human being has become. And there is some truth that they are partly to blame. But there was one before them, one who tricked them, one who really is the whole cause of the human downfall...


Even before we were ever created, Satan, a fallen angel, was already at war with God. The one known as the Prince of Darkness started the biggest battle the universe has ever seen. But I think in the back of his head, he knew he couldn’t win. So he decided to trick God’s most beloved into causing Him as much pain as possible... and it all started with a couple, and an apple...

By tricking them, Satan caused not only the pain he wished to inflict on God, but the separation of us from God. This ties back into my last post, about how we need relationship’s in order to survive as human. Ever since then, we’ve been trying to replace that missing thing, the God-shaped hole in our hearts with whatever we could get our hands on. War wasn’t an exception...

Miller gives a poignant comparison to what humanity has turned into...Sasha is one of the numerous Children of Chernobyl, a 5 year old caught in the nuclear fallout of one of the greatest tragedies of human history. He has a growth the size of a soft-ball protruding from his chest, separate flows of flesh meshing into a mutated nightmare, his now gigantic legs no longer able to support his body mass, meshing seamlessly into his oversized feet, with toes the size of my fist...

It’s hard to compare, but that is what humanity has become, a mutated creature desperate to feel the need for comfort, something to fill the emptiness in our souls.

Billy Graham was asked why such things as the Columbine shootings took place. His answer wasn’t video games, or culture, or anything like that;

“There once was a couple who lived in a Garden called Eden, and in that Garden was a tree of knowledge of good and evil...”

Not only did Satan cause God the greatest pain of seeing his children suffered, he sparked the greatest rescue plan in human history...

The Nexus of our lives...

I’m sorry for the quality of this post. I’ve had to come up with something in the space of 30 mins, and I don’t work well under those sort of time constraints, but also, I plan on post a year in review post on New Year’s Eve...

I aim on making it my longest post of all time...

Be on the lookout for it....


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Will Of God...

The Will of God will never take you,
Where the grace of God cannot keep you,
Where the arms of God cannot support you,
Where the riches of God cannot supply your needs,
Where the power of God cannot strengthen you.

The Will of God will never take you,
Where the Spirit of God cannot work through you,
Where the wisdom of God cannot teach you,
Where the army of God cannot protect you,
Where the hand’s of God cannot mould you.

The Will of God will never take you,
Where the love of God cannot enfold you,
Where the mercies of God cannot sustain you,
Where the peace of God cannot calm your fears,
Where the authority of God cannot overrule for you.

The Will of God will never take you,
Where the comfort of God cannot dry your tears,
Where the Word of God cannot feed you,
Where the miracles of God cannot be done for you,
Where the omnipresence of God cannot find you.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Relationship Long Wanted...

It’s no surprise to you who have read my blog that I love Donald Miller. I could not put down Blue Like Jazz to save my life. Miller writes in such a fashion that is both compelling and intriguing at the same time. Of course, there are the flaws in modern Christian writers that I have talked about before, so I shant go on another rant about it…unless you guys want me to…

When I was at GAP camp, his follow up book Searching For God Knows What caught my eye, and so after a quick exchange of money, I was in possession of what was sure to be another great read…and boy was I right.

Miller writes once again in his familiar style, conducting the chapters in the form of memoirs. However, this isn’t a review of the book. I’ve only just started chapter 4, so it would be stupid to write a review based on the opening 3 chapters. What this post is about is something that Miller talks about within the confines of the book.

Let’s set the scene…Miller has just stood in a car wash in the middle of the night, and told god he doesn’t exist…At this stage, I was almost tempted to put the book down, because a) I was extremely tired and b) he had given some pretty compelling arguments as to why god doesn’t exist…but I soldiered on.

The 3rd chapter, aptly named “Feet of Trees” explains what happened after that evening. Miller is a very thorough and wise man, because he knew what he had just done…he denounced god.

Read that last line carefully…he denounced god.

Again…he denounced god.

His idea of god is evident from his writings in the first 2 chapters of the book. Miller saw god, more as an idea rather than a person. He believed that god was a system of beliefs to make him feel OK, not a real Being. He didn’t want this, and wanted to encounter the true God. And he did.

But this is what I want to talk about; the system that he believed god was, is very common in today’s world. People trying to fit in, trying to have an identity. He even tells the story of how he began to memorize vast quantities of poetry, just so he could be flocked by huge numbers of girls, as was the head of the National Debating Team. This is what he compares it to.

A system for safety.

Earlier on in the book, he talks about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and it was astonishing to read that God was considered to be a safety need. Something to make us feel warm and cosy, to make us feel right.

That isn’t god. That’s a 6 pack of beer, 4 packs of Doritos, and day-time TV. (Note, I have, nor do I plan on drinking at any stage…it was the first thing that popped into my head…)

So the question then is who is God really? He isn’t a god of formulas, and bullet points. No, he’s so much more. And I could go on for hours trying to come up with sufficient words to describe Him, but nothing that I could say would come any where close to who He really is.

So then what of those formulas that the “imposter” god symbolises? What is the point, if there is, of those rules even existing? Maybe we need to look past the rules, and focus on the bigger picture. We said earlier on that the god of rules was there to give us an identity, a reason for people to say nice things about you.

What if our whole theology is based on a relational foundation?

Normally, at this stage of reading a book, I would have found something to disagree with. The Rob Bell books are a good example of this. But oddly enough, all that I've read so far is actually making sense.

People, when you look on the surface, need the safety that the god of rules can provide. But deep down, they want more than that. Humans are designed to be relational beings. We need other people in order to survive. We need relationships in order to live. That’s what God can give us.

God is desperate to give us the life we fully need in order to function as his creations;

“My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”

- John 10 v 10

Part of that is having a relational based life, with friends, family, and of course the Big G. I can honestly put my hand on my heart and say that if I didn’t have the friends that I have today, I don’t where I would be. Each and everyone of my friends reading this has played a huge part in my life. You are part of the reason why I am who I am today.

So how can we gain this full and everlasting life? Coming up to Christmas once again, its easy to lose sight of the fact that Jesus came into the world so that we can have this full life. He died on the Cross for us. And it is through Him that we can have this full life.

So how can we get this life we so desperately need?


Place Him as the Nexus in our lives…

“…He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”

- Isaiah 53 v 5

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Faith Unwavering...

Yes its true ladies and gentlemen, I'm back! And I'm back for good! I have a number of ideas in my head, which is very confusing. I hope you enjoy!

This Friday past, I headed up to youth group once again, and unlike my previous experience, I was delighted to see it was on. It was great to see everyone there, and I think they were glad to see me...I think. Almost immediately we were called into a prayer/devotional time, led by Ethan. And its what he talked about that I want to talk about.

David is an amazing man...and no I don't mean David Bowie...I mean THE David...You know the one from the Bible? But anyway, yes, David is awesome. I mean, he was a shepherd, and then went onto to kill a giant, and become King of Israel. I've spoken about David before, and now that I come to think about it, what I'm going to talk about now, but as in depth as today.

David was awesome, but not just because of the fact he was king, or the fact that he toppled the huskiest of men with a barrage of pebbles, but because what happened to him after that. Saul, the king before David, was furious when he found out about David being king, and so chased him and his men around the land, forcing David to live in caves. David also committed adultery with Bethsheda, and killed her husband because of it. David was far from perfect.

But that is what makes him awesome. That he's the epitome of the human being. He's the perfect example of what a human is at its very core; flawed.

We're all flawed. No one can say that he/she hasn't sinned. We're born into it, ever since the fall of man collapsed the walls of love. Since then, we've sinned all of our lives. And the fact is David is an ideal example of this.

But he's not only an example of what humans are, but also what we can become. David was terrified, knew that he should be dead, but he persevered. He continued to hold onto the fact that one day God would bring everything together for the greater cause. And that's exactly what he did.

Through David's bloodline, the Savior of the world was born. As we approach Christmas, its hard not to be distracted by lights, and presents and carols and Santa. But the true meaning behind Christmas is this; Jesus, who arrived at the pinnacle of the Roman Empire, was born into this filth-ridden world so that he could give us something;


Faith in Him, in heaven, when times are joyous, when times are hard. There's no doubt that life sucks. But Christ came so that everything evil on this earth would be a minor hindrance. He came so that he could undo the damage done by Adam, and give us the faith that this world so desperately needs.

David knew what was to come, and because of him and his amazing faith, the world was saved. Even though he was beaten down, ridiculed, mocked, taunted, and hurt, he believed; He believed in something far greater than anything; the coming of salvation.

Its this faith that we have been given. And it is through this faith, that all things are made new in God's sight. And it is through this faith that we believe, and continue to believe in, no matter what the cost.

"Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come...For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ...The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord..."

-Romans 5 v 14, 17, 20-21

"A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of."

-John 10 v 10

"When all around me starts to fall,
and when my faith it seems so small,
even in my darkest hour,
I will believe..."

Let Him be the Nexus in your live.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

RAW 08...

Sorry guys, once again, I'm extremely tired, and I really can't concentrate enough to write something from scratch. I will however post up an old post from my Bebo page. Hope this enthralls you:

RAW 08: Changing the Rhythm of the Nation.

Well it’s that time once again ladies and gents, my summery of yet another Ovoca camp. It’s amazing how quickly these camps come, but also how quickly they go as well. All I can say is that RAW has to be one, if not THE, greatest camp I’ve been to. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

The whole experience of RAW began before I even set a foot on the manor’s grounds. It all began at Connolly Station, where I was to meet up with, who would turn out to be some of the most annoying people, Kirsten, Courtney, and David. Why do I consider them annoying? Ask them yourselves. They’ll be happy to explain.

Once we actually reached the manor, we were instantly greeted by Damo, who told us to literally, strip off our top clothes, and put our white t-shirts on…which we did, albeit reluctantly. Inside, we were greeted by familiar face, and received our name badges. By this stage, we were wondering why we were wearing white t-shirts. And so came the answer, in the form of Damo, saying he wanted this camp to be “anti-clique.” For those of you who were there, you understand, but for those who weren’t there, he basically wanted people to feel comfortable about talking to anyone, at any stage. Clever idea.

We were a bit early (well about 3 hours early) so we got our rooms sorted, and then just waited… Yep, waited till the rest of the campers started to arrive. Then it was party time! Dinner, and then some free time before our first worship session and talk, where Damo’s wife, Jeannine, gave a talk on what exactly changing the rhythm of the nation means. Very interesting. Then it was time to go to the chipper…Unfortunately, due to the Irish weather, we were forced to stay inside. However, all was not lost, when Damo announced that we watch some movies instead. Then it was time for bed.

After waking up from about 5 hours of sleep, it was time for breakfast. The normal cereal and toast were once again are only option. After breakfast, it was time for our second talk with Holly, who told us of her experiences in Jerusalem. Then it was time to personalize our white t-shirts, with out names on the back, and RAW 08 on the front, spray-painted in different colours. A lot of them turned out really cool. Before heading to our next activity, I decided to check out the prayer room, an area where we could just come before God and be silent. I have to say, that the organisers did an amazing job with this room, as well as the chill-out room, an area to play games, and just chillax. Great room. It was then time for the highlight of the day. After we were shown a clip from “Ballykisangel” we were told to finish of the scene in different TV styles, for example, Home and Away. We were given some conditions which had to be met, and then we were split into different groups. I have to say, that I don’t think I’ve laughed so much in my short life. Some of the stuff was pure gold. Be sure to check back here for the links to the videos.

It was then time for dinner, and after, our next talk on things which give us fear, given by Fishy. After the talk, we all took part in the “labyrinth,” a set of rooms, in which were to complete different things of a spiritual nature. I have to say that this was really amazing. Finally, after some more amazing worship (led by Jonny Somervile), it was time for bed once again.

Again, woke up after 4 hours sleep, breakfast, and then our next talk by Andy, who talked about Paul. More worship, and then it was time for the main activity of the day. Once the troops were gathered in the conference room, commander Parle instructed his troops on what they would face; games involving rescuing campers, while dodging eggs, tomatoes, and water balloons. After that, it was a giant paint balloon fight with the goal of capturing the opposing team’s flag. Somehow, I managed to stay clean, but that can’t be said of everyone! :P Again, dinner, worship and a talk from Jonny. Bed time.

After receiving only two hours of sleep, we woke at 5:00 in the morning to go to see the sunrise on Easter morning. Pretty tired at that stage, so it didn’t take me long to get back to sleep. After we woke up (again) we were greeted with a fry, something which is rare in Ovoca. Another talk, this time from Damo’s mother about St. Patrick. The rest of the day was spent relaxing, just chillin out with friends, playing games and talking. After that, it was time to get dressed for the Oscars, where our films would be screened. Amazing fun!

Then came what was possibly the highlight of the camp, the evening worship. Just pouring out everything to God, was just incredible. There are more personal things which happened that evening, but I can’t really say. But to those of you who know what I am talking about, thank you.

Monday morning came, and the fact that camp was almost over dawned on everyone. With some final worship, and a pep rally by Damo, we cleaned the manor, grabbed some group shots, and then proceeded to head our separate ways. What an amazing camp.

The End…

You guys should know me by now; I don’t finish things like that. I urge you to keep reading. There’s some good stuff waiting for you.

There are a couple of messages I want to give out. To those of you who feel disconnected, dejected, uncomfortable at home, in school, in a relationship, know that God will fix this.

To those of you who find Christianity illogical, it is. Choosing to follow Christ was the most single most illogical thing I have ever done, but I have, nor will I, ever regret making that choice. He is perfect, despite being illogical. If everything was logical, there would be no need for faith. We could never fully put our trust in something. (Look out for a future blog on this topic.)

Finally, to you who feel like utter crap, I have one thing to say; there is a reason for everything.

“That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” Romans 8:28

I have my own way of describing this; I don’t believe in coincidence, or chance. Those of you who went to RAW, went to it for a reason. Those of you who feel disconnected from God, that’s for a reason. Those of you who feel like utter crap, God’s got a reason for it. Know that he’s going to get you through this rough time.

Guys, if we don’t do something, the world is just going to get worse. Look around you today. How many broken hearts do you see? How many teenage live do you see destroyed by drugs? How many broken relationships do you see? Violence, pain, sex, despair, sorrow, grief, war… these are all things we weren’t meant to experience. But since the fall of man, we have. Now it’s time to make a stand. Now is the time when we fight for our generation. I believe in violence, but I fight with a new kind of violence; the violence of love! Praying, worshiping, becoming a stalker of Christ. You want to join the revolution? Gods already called you. All you have to do is accept. Hold on tight, ‘cause you’re in for the time of your lives!

And now come the dedications. Again, I know this should be at the start, but whatever.

Once again, to my friends, both old and new, once again, I must thank you for standing by me, through the good and bad times. You give me the strength I need.

To the group of 5 (you know who you are) when I look at you, I see more than what is on the outside; I see warriors for Christ, standing proud and strong, willing to fight for your king. To think that you would consider me you friend is quite frankly astounding. It is an honour to be called, and to call you, my friends.

To the two who talked to me. Words cannot describe the pleasure it gives to even be in the same room as you. You continually advise me, and when I am down, you encourage me so much. You must be so sick of me asking you for advice. Thank you though for sticking by me, throughout the time I have known you. I know that I am not the only one who faces problems, and so I wish to do my bit to encourage you. Everything happens for a reason, no matter how good or bad it may seem, it is all in Gods plan. Everything happens to you for a reason. All I can say is that God has an amazing plan for you.

“I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.” Jeremiah 29:11

Guys I don’t know where our lives are going to take us, or if you’re even reading this. But one thing’s for certain, I will always consider you my friends.

And finally to Christ, who has given me more than I ever could have been expected. Easter is not about chocolate bunnies, or hanging out with friends. It’s about you, who 2000 years ago was crucified for us, so that we can have a second chance, that we might be able to sit in your presence in heaven, and that we might love you. You entered the gates of hell, and battled Satan for our souls, so that you might say to him “This is my child, you no longer own him. I have paid for him.” But 2000 years ago, you rose from the grave, to show your perfect love. Just thinking about this makes me confused. I guess we’ll never really know what happened until we are in your presence. And now you have instructed us with the task of taking this generation back. THE REVOLUTION IS ABOUT TO BEGIN!!

From The Screwtape Letters
“Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."

“In light of all this, here's what I want you to do. While I'm locked up here, a prisoner for the Master, I want you to get out there and walk—better yet, run!—on the road God called you to travel.”-Ephesians 4:1

“The promise of being transformed and ignited to holy passion by understanding and beholding God’s glorious personality is for all believers. No matter how weak or strong we feel, regardless of our previous failures, irrespective of our natural temperaments or personalities, each of us can be set ablaze with passion for Jesus.”-Mike Bickle

“It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good.”
-1 Peter 5:10

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.” -John 3:16