So this week has been kind of a struggle for me… I’ve found it especially hard relationally, especially the balance between function and relation…
Monday night at growth group we had a new couple join us: Justin and Elizabeth Low. We continued on in our second study of Zechariah. It is a book full of apocalyptic language, and quite hard to get your head around; I found it especially hard, having missed the 1st weeks ‘introductory‘ study.
The book speaks a lot about “That Day” when judgement will come and when God gathers the nations.
Late Tuesday afternoon, we had this guy Dave walk in off the street, looking to speak to a minister. Turns out he was in a financial struggle, and after money (which we in principle don’t give out). He was some country guy, trying to make it back up north to get to the doctors, having hitched his way up from Melbourne. We offered to buy him a meal, which he turned down, and then offered to buy him a room for the night so that he could catch the bus north in the morning, only thing being that the room was up in Wahroonga. I ended up driving him up there, as a form of mercy ministry. It was a very awkward trip, with very minimal conversation. Most of the time I asked him questions, he kept complaining about how no one would give him a break, or help him out and how he hadn’t eaten for days. It felt a bit freaky for most of the part, driving a total stranger somewhere, but I trusted that God would keep me safe.
After that, I headed back to my folks place to have dinner with my Dad.
Wednesday afternoon I knocked off work a little early, and headed to do some grocery shopping. I ended up buying a whole bunch of fresh foods and making a chilli & thyme mushroom risotto. It was tasty and I still have a few boxes sitting in my freezer!! Whilst Nat’s growth group was taking place, I went ahead and worked on some video editing, hopefully the fruits will soon be visible…
Thursday I got a package in the mail, very exciting. It contained a new pair of shoes: The Bunyip; a collaboration between Puma and Sneaker Freaker. These ones came courtesy of Laced in Brisbane. They’re quite a comfy shoe, despite being a lot chunkier and bigger than I’m used to wearing, they’re also a size bigger than I’m used to, but the smallest size on offer.
Friday was a fairly relaxed day. I (finally) got to meet some people from the Moore College Mission that had been working with one of our churches during the week, his name is Mike. In the afternoon at touch, there were quite a number of guys from the mission that came and played, bolstering numbers to around the 11 or 12 people per side. It seemed like a really quick game, with plenty of tries coming about, I managed to put one down.
SALT saw a number of college students giving talks; I think most of them went down well. There was also a Star Wars theme being International Star Wars Day.
The majority of my day yesterday was taken up with the wedding of a family friend Phil and his now wife Minnah. The ceremony took place out at St Jude’s, Randwick, which is quite a nice sandstone church. It was good to see so many familiar faces from my younger years as most of the attendees were either from Canberra or cousins of Phil’s that we’d seen/met during other bigger events over the years. The service was very traditional and quite high Anglican, with congregational prayers; including The Lord’s Prayer and Prayers of the People (for Faithfulness, for the Grace to Live Well & for The Joy of Companionship), and old hymns, accompanied by a choir in their robes. It was very different to the weddings I’m used to these days, which are larger, and more relaxed. The sermon, based on 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, 13 and Ephesians 5:21-31 wasn’t too bad, speaking of the love of God and the example that that is for Phil and Minnah to live their lives, but I feel like it may have missed the mark a bit, by focusing too much on them, and not being enough about Christ. I would have liked the sermon to have had a more evangelistic focus, as Phil and his 2 brothers have become Christians kind of recently, and a lot of the other wedding guests were either Catholic, or non-Christians.
In the afternoon I enjoyed watching some AFL and catching a nap, before suiting up again for the reception, which took place at The Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel. The food was pretty tasty; I enjoyed the Moroccan spiced lamb tenderloin, green bean salad and saffron emulsion for entree, the corn fed chicken breast, mashed potato, green asparagus with a herb cream sauce for mains, followed by warm sticky date pudding, butterscotch sauce, King Island cream and a shortbread biscuit for dessert.
There was plenty of opportunity to chat, catch up and reminisce about the past with family friends throughout the night.
This morning, after a good night sleep, I got out for the usual 1-2-1 with Nic at The Red Heart Cafe over a cup of Campos coffee. We read through Hebrews 12 and prayed. It was good to be reminded of the discipline that God shows us, for our good.
Tonight at graceat6 we were treated to one astonishing sermon; that of Jesus from Matthew 5-7. Mike gave us a bit of a fly over and purpose of the sermon which encourages us in the shape of the life of a Christian, of a disciple in 4 broad points:
- To lower ourselves on our knees before Jesus
- To raise our standards high so that we might imitate God
- To go deep into our hearts, striving for purity
- To long for Christ
After church I got a few good conversations in. I was especially excited to speak to Monique and to Mim about a new song that I’ve been longing to sing/introduce since I went along to Moore College Community Chapel a while ago. I’m really hoping that we do end up singing it, as it’s a great old hymn with words by Charles Wesley with a more modern melody, thanks to Michael Morrow.
This week sees me at work for four days only before I head to the 10th Annual Semi-Permanent conference, over Friday and Saturday. I’m looking forward to it, and I think I may actually have been to all of the ones here in Sydney, as well as the inaugural Melbourne one a few years ago!!