Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The creative college assignment

Our most recent college assignment was quite different from the usual essay.  For Doctrine 2 we had to write a hymn or a prayer on one of four set topics.  The aim of the assignment was to get us to express theological truths in simple ways for congregational use.  I chose to write a hymn about the ascension. 

I'm not sure how everyone felt about this assignment, but the general vibe I got from the people I talked to was that of excitement.  It was nice to be doing something very creative and more practical than an essay.  I really enjoyed doing mine (apart from the sometimes frustrating nature of metre and rhyme!) and so I thought I'd share it with you and I hope it encourages you like it did me. 

It doesn't have a name because most hymns only have a number.  It's the tune that is named, and that's what I've provided with its metre, as well as a song with that tune and its number. 

(“O Little Town of Bethlehem”, hymn 240)

The Christ has died that we might live,
yet rose up from the dead.
Eternal life to us was give,
it was just as he said.
And then he rose up in a cloud,
was hidden from their sight.
With kingly reign he was endowed,
and sat down at God’s right.

When Christ ascended to his throne
he left the earth below.
The Holy Spirit he has shown;
a gift to us who know.
By Spirit Christ abides in us,
his likeness to instil.
We’ve knowledge of his mind to trust
that we can know his will.

From heav’n Christ intercedes for man,
before our God as priest.
By his humanity he can
our weakness know not least.
As envoy to the holy one,
God’s mercy he doth win,
he stands forever, failing none,
our confidence in him.

As king in heaven over all,
the Christ at God’s right hand.
He shares the power in God’s hall,
he’s gloried as God planned.
A place prepared is his intent,
where we’ll forever spend.
Then he’ll return the way he went,
to judge all at the end. 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Of birthdays, car trips and projects

My parents visited us last weekend.  They arrived on Friday, which was Dad’s birthday, and left Sunday night. 

On Friday night we went out to dinner for Dad’s birthday, but he still ended up paying for everything (or maybe Mum did, but it comes out the same anyway).  We even got to go to the Lindt cafe, something which I’ve been wanting to do since we got here (and last time Mum and Dad were here!).  We missed out last time because the one we tried to go to closed at 6pm.  This time I was prepared and I found one that stayed open late enough for birthday dessert. 

On Saturday we went to the zoo.  Taking people to the zoo seems to have developed into a ‘thing’ for us since we got here, much because of the communal zoo membership passes that we have in our community.  On the way to the zoo we missed the turn off  so it turned into a bit of a tour of the north shore.  Dad was particularly impressed with the bird show at the zoo. 

On Sunday they came to church with us in the morning and then we drove all over town to find a new laptop for me.  I’m pretty please with the result, but still setting it all up. 

Mum and Dad also bought me a passionfruit plant (I love passionfruit!) and a wire trellis to train it on but it rained all weekend after that so we couldn’t put it up.  This means it’s now my project.  This is as far as I’ve gotten, which is okay really for the stage that the plant is in.  Now that it’s holidays and I’ve finished me recent assignment, it’s time to set it all up.  I’m not sure if this pot is wide enough, anyone have any ideas?

Thanks Mum and Dad for a lovely weekend together!

Monday, 7 April 2014


While on college mission I gave my testimony at a country dinner.  In was in a tiny town, half an hour’s drive out of Gunnedah.  There were about 20 people there and I shared with them what God has done in my life. 

The lovely country table decorations

I don’t remember when I first heard about God.  When I was young I started going to church with my family.  There I learnt about how God loved me and cared about me and was interested in me.  Somewhere along the line I learnt that God had forgiven my sins, but I didn’t understand why Jesus had to die for my forgiveness.  So I wanted to learn more about God, get to know him better.  I decided to start reading the Bible because I knew I could find out more about God there.  I started from the beginning but I got a bit stuck in the Old Testament.  I didn’t understand what all the short stories said about God or how they were relevant to me. 

It wasn’t until I got to university and joined a Christian group there, that I understood how the whole Bible fits together into one big story of God working through history, and that it was all leading up to the coming of Jesus.  I understood in a deeper way the reality of my sinfulness and how serious sin was.  I thought that sin was just things like lying, stealing or murder.  But I realised that these are symptoms of a deeper problem, a rebellion against God and the way he says is the best way to live our lives.  So it wasn’t just borrowing my sister’s clothes without asking that was a sin, but my unkind thoughts and my selfishness and my desire to live my life my own way and not God’s way.

I learnt that this rebellion against God is so offensive to him that it deserves punishment: death.  But I also learnt even more how great God’s love is, that Jesus died to take this punishment instead of me.  This is why Jesus had to die for me to be forgiven.  There’s a verse in the Bible that describes this well. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever believes in him shall not die but have eternal life.  (John 3:16)

Because of this I know that my life is not my own, I should be living it in service to God. Jesus died when I should have died, so I now live my life for him.  Part of this is why I’m studying at college to learn more about God and how to share this good news with others.