Lecture Topics and Summaries

Here is a really brief summary of the lecture topics we’ve had each week so far.  Obviously the actual lectures went into much more detail than these short summaries describe.

Week 1: Hearing God’s voice.
Summary:
We distinguish God’s voice from others by knowing God’s character.  It is important to hear God’s voice because it is how He gives direction to our lives.

Week 2: The Nature and Character of God
Summary:
God is holy (he is perfect in every way and consistently makes choices that are perfect).  The Holy Spirit is a part of the trinity and He is inside of us (Christians) and leads/guides us.

Week 3: Repentance and Forgiveness
Summary:
It is important to ask the Holy Spirit to show us the sin in our lives so that we can repent of the sin, see the sin from God’s perspective and finally become closer to God and others around us.

Week 4: Prayer and Intercession.
Summary:
There is a spiritual battle all around us and our prayers matter because they help bind the enemy and bring God’s power.

Week 5: Relationships
Summary:
We need God to fulfill our main needs of love and significance instead of searching for them from others, because other people or things cannot satisfy them.

Thanks for reading.

China and Iceland.

After 4 days of discernment I am now know which outreach team I am going on and who else will be on my team.  I am going to China for the month of April, then Iceland for the month of May and then back to Western Australia for the month of June.  It’s going to be one crazy adventure.

I don’t have time to write out more details of what we will be doing and how I decided on this outreach team/location, but I’ll write another post soon and explain.

Thanks for reading.

Repentance and Forgiveness Week

53 people, 18 hours, 1 unbelievable feeling of freedom

This last week of school was … intense.  From Monday till Thursday this week’s speaker spoke on the topic of repentance and forgiveness.  He spoke on what sin is and the problems it creates.  He spoke on why it is good to repent and confess of sin in front of witnesses and the benefits that come from this confessional process.  It’s not that God doesn’t forgive sins if you only repent to him, but there are benefits from doing it in front of witnesses.

Here’s how the process worked.  First off, we were each to take time alone in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to reveal to each of us the sin in our lives; basically we were asking God to point out the sin in our lives and to let us see the sin from His perspective (i.e. why he hates the sin).  The next step was confession of sins in front of a group of witnesses.  On Friday morning at 9:00 am we started this process and we finished at 3:00 am Saturday morning.  18 hours!  The 18 hours included a few breaks for snacks and meals.  Basically, each of us that wanted to went to the front of the class and sat on a chair between Quentin (the school leader) and this week’s speaker.  We would then pray aloud to God and in detail repent of the sins that we felt we needed to.  After this, they would pray for us and then we would go and nail our list of sins to a cross for symbolic effect.  Then finally, other students would come and pray for the person who just confessed and give them words of encouragement.

The whole process was quite terrifying, humiliating, exhausting, exciting and … freeing.  People were honest.  People were open.  People were genuine.  People shared everything.  People shared so they would have no regrets later.  People cried.  I cried.  Announcing your deepest and darkest secrets in front of 60ish people is no easy task.  But, afterwards, the feeling is truly amazing.  I feel so light, so happy, so free, so close to everyone else in my school.  I just…, I feel so good.  It’s great.

Thanks for reading.

Adventure in Perth

A week and a half ago I had a bit of an adventure in downtown Perth.  If I had to take a random assortment of exciting words from the story the would be ambulances, decapitation, a drunk 15 year old girl, mcdonalds, being lost, lots of walking, a prostitute, a helicopter and a crazy lady.  Though it was quite the adventure, that slice of words does exaggerate the excitement of the story.

To begin, me and 3 of my friends on base named Tobias, Caitlin and Mirjam decided to go for a walk into downtown Perth on a Friday night.  We left at about 10:45pm and planned to be gone about 45 minutes.  We were walking around town looking at shops when we saw a helicopter take off from the hospital roof.  It was pretty cool.  After a while we decided to head home, but then in the process of walking/talking we ended up missing a turn and got completely lost.

After walking around somewhat randomly for a time, we asked this crazy/somewhat drunk looking lady for directions.  She gave us some … alright … directions (from my experiences so far, Aussie people don’t give the most clear directions).  She was also a bit weird because for some reasons she didn’t like Canadians.

We took her directions and eventually found McDonalds (which meant we knew where we were).  We were hungry and by that point it was about midnight so we got a bit of food.  While we were eating this young girl runs in and starts bawling her eyes out in the corner.  We went over to her and asked what was wrong and then found out she was lost and all her friends had ditched her.  So, we spent the next 30 minutes talking/listening to her, finding out the restaurant her friends were at, then walking with her to that restaurant before her drunk/awkward boyfriend and friends suddenly drove up to pick her up.  We found out she was 15 and her one friend was a prostitute and that she had been at her boyfriends 21st birthday.  It was a bit crazy.  It was cool we were able to help her though because in McDonalds she looked pretty terrified.

After the 15 year old girl’s friends picked her up we still had to find our way home.  There was some paramedics drinking coffee nearby, so we asked them for directions.  The one paramedic told us we were far away from home and was trying to give us directions to the train station when he decided that it would be easier if he just gave us a ride home.  So we got a ride home in his ambulance and he told us about how he had just been at traffic accident where someone got decapitated.  It was crazy.

In the end we all got home safely sometime after 1:00am.  It was a good night; it was much better than just a short walk.

Thanks for reading this.

Kings Park

Went to a park called Kings Park the other day.  It’s a really cool place.  Lots of great views, cool trees, bridges to cross, “whispering walls”… etc.  Here’s a picture of a war memorial area.  I liked the sign in front of the memorial torch/pond.

 

In Christ Alone – 2

Here’s a cool story.  As I had said in my last post, a week ago I woke up two days in a row with the song “In Christ Alone” playing in my mind.  I thought it was odd that this song had been in my mind so strongly, two days in a row.  I had prayed to God that if this was from Him then the worship leaders would select it to be sung during worship.  And sure enough, as I had said in my last post, it was sung and it had a huge impact on everyone present.

Today, I was listening to the speaker and I prayed again, “God, if that song was really from you, then can you help prove it by having us sing it again”.  To be honest, based on the style of most of the songs that were being sung during worship, I really didn’t expect it to be sung, but sure enough, the final song that was selected was, “In Christ Alone”.  People were pretty much falling on their faces because the presence of God could be felt so strongly.

Anyways, it was pretty crazy.  It was really cool.

Thanks for reading.

In Christ Alone

Last week I woke up two days in a row with this song playing in my head.  The first day I forgot about it a few hours afterwords and then the next day I woke up with it again.  Anyways, this past week we’ve had a speaker named Maureen Menard talking about the nature/character of God.  At the end of her talk today she played some songs over the sound system and the last song she played was, “In Christ Alone”.  It’s hard to describe the experience through this blogging medium, but… as the song was playing it just felt like God was very present in the room.  Here’s the lyrics to the song:

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
’til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand