Category: Life

When Valium isn’t enough

I stood on the side of the street in my own little world and heard a loud angry voice coming my way. As I looked up from sending a text, my eyes met with the guy who was crashing through the crowd of people. He came to a sudden halt and shouted at me “Do you know what you have just done”? I had no idea what he was talking about but as he came closer to a big smile appeared on his face. “You are a #@$%-ing human valium”! I laughed at this but he went on to share with me that someone had hurt him and caused him to get anxious and extremely angry. He said he wanted to kill someone but while walking past as soon as he saw me all the anger vanished and he felt at peace. We spoke for 30 min about his life, struggles and what he hoped for. I have been called many things but never a human valium.

Valium is used for anxiety. Valium can also be used to treat trembling, states of confusion or anxiety associated with alcohol withdrawal. It is also used to treat panic attacks. I can see why people would turn to valium to relieve things that are hard to manage in their lives. With the recent events that have taken place in the world and all the stuff we that don’t hear about the need for medication will no doubt be on the rise. More than ever Christians need to be available to be a sort of medication to a world that is full of chaos and pain.

From the book of Matthew chapter 5

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Jesus is saying we are the salt of the earth, the light of the world. Yep, sometimes people will need medication to get through the day, but what would happen if we took seriously what Jesus is saying here. How would it impact us and others who come into contact with us? As I continue to work out my salvation on a daily basis, I am realizing more and more that my faith journey is not just about my relationship with Christ and the benefits of my internal transformation, but how the renewing of my mind will impact others.  This is not some new profound thought and doesn’t just apply to me. I believe there are many who are part of the body of Christ who are neglecting this part of running the race. Whatever the reasons for this happening, its time to take hold of the truth that Jesus is speaking about.

Salt enhances the flavour of food and is used to de-ice sidewalks after its been snowing. Light replaces darkness and allows people to see more clearly. Salt and light are good things, but when its Jesus Christ telling us that is what we are then its not just salt and light, its God fuelled. When I take the time to have dialogue with God I often pray and ask that I will see people and situations from a kingdom perspective, that I will see what Jesus sees.  Its amazing what takes place when we see with our spiritual eyes and ears.  Its even more profound what others see when we have committed ourselves to being available.

Straight up, the world needs some good flavour, and those who are walking on unstable ground need something to help them move forward.  and you only have to take a glimpse at the news or look at your  feed on Facebook to see that darkness and shadows are very real in this world,  and a light that can pierce that darkness needs to be present.  Thank God it is, Jesus is very much alive and we, the body of Christ are his hands, feet, ears and tongues. The bible says we have the mind of Christ so connect with him to be used, to be that person who counter attacks anxiety and causes people to feel at peace.

If you want this, to see the world differently and to see people as Jesus sees them, and most of all be the salt and light that he says we are, be prepared. Sometimes you wont like what you see, you may even grieve, but those who are seeking truth will see him in you and will often be drawn to you. Read the word, be in constant dialogue with the trinity and place yourselves in the company of others who can encourage and support you to be this God fuelled salt and light.

Thanks for dropping by and reading

Starving depression and feeding life instead

Since the death of Robin williams I have been involved in many conversations about depression and suicide. I myself suffered from this monster for a number of years and the depression did lead to thoughts of taking my own life. But I am still here. Being a follower of Jesus Christ and living with this illness is controversial to some and to others it’s something very real.

I am a big believer in the supernatural when it comes to the Christian journey, the benefits of being part of a family where your father just happens to be the creator of the universe, but all to often when it comes to the subject of illness, especially mental health, it’s ignored or forgotten, that because of the fall, our brokenness and the bodies we live in, well we are not immune to all pain. Amen to having the mind of Christ and to being a new creation but then there’s the issue of our humanness

Everyone’s journey is different, but I believe if your part of the body of Christ, then are are certainly things that one can do to not just simply survive during depression, but actually live as well. So what I’m about to say is not the only way but after years of struggling and working out how to seperate myself from depression while finding my place in the kingdom, I think it’s important for all Christians, especially those who are suffering, to hold on to certain things.

Isolation is a killer, when the shit hits the fan many people will isolate themselves and doing this is asking for trouble. I don’t think Christians are meant to be alone so when we make a choice to cut ourselves off from friends,family or church it creates an opportunity for the father of lies to move in an ransack our spiritual and mental lives. Self examination is less likely to take place and hopelessness moves in

Christian or not hope is a very powerful thing. I’m sure we have all met people who either say they have lost hope or they don’t bother hoping anymore. But when we are the ones that forget what hope looks like, well it can feel like your the walking dead. It’s important and awesome to have hope in the grace of God and our new life in Christ, but that stuff is even more powerful when we can see how that is connected to our human lives, vocation and using our gifts to contribute to the world. 

I spent years suffering and choosing to suffer alone but after I became a Christian I was introduced to community, allowing others to speak Into my life and learnt that I must participate in the process of sanctification. These things changed my life and I received much healing from past chaos, depression and patterns that were doing me no good. I’m in no way perfect and of course we all have our bad days but I would say
that making a choice to no longer isolate ourselves, holding on to hope and putting ourselves in a space where other Christians can encourage us, challenge us and walk beside us is a powerful weapon to counter attacking depression.

God never works in any particular order when it comes to this stuff, and he is always working in our lives, but sometimes we need to starve the things in out lives that that want to kill us-Depression, and instead feed the things that that will transform and save us-Hope, Community and life giving Choices.

If your reading this and you are suffering from depression then I want to encourage you. It’s worth holding on, you will benefit from making yourself vulnerable by allowing good people into your life and your contribution to the world and the body of Christ is needed. God knew you before you were conceived and knows you now and your life is worth living.

A time to climb

A dude climbs a tree to get the attention of a guy he must see, and he does so because maybe it’s the only way he can be seen.

It is Jesus that is passing through town, and not only does he acknowledge the short guy in the branches but he then invites himself to zacchaeus’s house to hang out.

In Luke 19:1-10 we read about a man who is a tax collector, a profession that would have no doubt made him a very lonely man. Oh he would have had plenty of cash to throw around, but it’s safe to say that his family would have been the only ones who may have benefited. He may as well of been a traitor to his people as long as he worked for the Romans.

Jesus sees zacchaeus and tells him to get down from the tree, but the reason for this request is not so Jesus can tell him off in front of the crowd for his dodgy career choice. 
Luke 19:5 NIV
[5] When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.”

Once again Jesus turns everything upside down and shows that grace has more power than the law. And it’s because of this interaction that Zacchaeus announces that not only will he give much of his wealth to the poor but he will repay anyone who he has ripped off..times 4. Wow, after all that I wonder how much this guy would have had left in his pockets?

What could we possibly learn from this story in the gospel?
•Sometimes we may have to go out of our way to see Christ
•Whether we recognize the darkness in ourselves or not, Jesus will still call out, but not to shame or rebuke our behavior
•Any experience had with Jesus will challenge the way we see things and will often leave us with a choice to do things differently

We may not be tax collectors but we certainly do, think and say things that are dodgy towards others and even ourselves. But Christ calls us like he did Zacchaeus, not because of who we are but because of who he is…and sometimes you will need to put yourself in a position where a dialogue can be had

My 2 hours in Detention

I havent blogged since January this year and its been a real challenge to take the time to reflect and put into words anything that I thought was worth writing about. Well this week I had the opportunity to do something that i have been wanting to do for about twelve months, something that I knew would not only be eye-opening but would potentially change my life. I spent two hours at the Melbourne Immigration Transit accommodation centre, otherwise known as a Detention centre for Asylum seekers.

For readers not in Australia, the issue of asylum seekers arriving on our doorstep, especially those who have made the choice to travel by boat has been an on going politcial storm for awhile now. My intention is to not make this blog entry all about how much i hate what the Australian Government is doing/not doing and point the finger in anger at all the human rights violations taking place as there is enough of that already.(I might leave that for another entry but for now my Little rant is over;-))

I said earlier that i have been keen to visit asylum seekers in detention for quite some time. I am in my second year at university doing a degree in International Community Developement and during this time i have been working out what i want kind of work/vocation i would like to be involved in when i finished my study. Outside of uni i have had t to expectnumerous encounters with people who had fled their countries because of conflict, arrived here by boat and spent time in detention. Every time i would walk away really impacted by their stories. 

On the way to the detention centre i was really anxious, i realised that no amount of preperation could actually prepare me for what i was walking into. Yes it sounds dramatic in a way, but the people who i had met out in the community who had unfortunatley been locked up both here in australa and abroad spoke of a deep deprerssion and the struggle coming to terms with their freedom, especially with the rest of the their family on the other side of the globe or the memories of oppression always at the front of their minds. How much more intense would it be on the inside?

Well it was intense and extreemly confronting but it didnt take long before i was reminded of a couple of things. 1. The visit was never about me and 2.They are not boat people(many refer to them as that) I have my freedom and all the privilidges that come with it…and i take it for granted as well. I can leave my house whenever i want and have visitors at any time. I know where my family is(well most of the time) but im certainly not worried for their saftey and even though there was a time in my life when i was displaced..well i think you get the picture.

What an honour it was to meet these men!. All of them had been through hell(&some more than others still are)to get to Australia and now live day to day having no idea what the future holds for them. Missing their wives and kids or knowing that family memebers are missing and are not in a postion to do anything but wait. Yes their stories are sad but the i saw a spark in many of their eyes that said something very different. STRENGTH. I may be able to visit them regularly and give them encouragement and hope(and thats exactly what they need) but i have no doubt in my mind that spending time with them will mean no more standing on the sidelines.

Have you ever been to a detention centre or refugee camp, met any asylum seekers or been one yourself? If so i would love to read about your perspective. Feel free to leave a comment and thanks for reading

More than a 3 letter word

I have been thinking a lot latley, probably to much which is why i havent blogged in awhile. I had in my head that each blog had to be long, detailed and profound which made it really tough to sit and just write because of all the stuff that i have been keen to write about.

The word why gets thrown around a lot. Kids ask why all the time, its part of their curiousity and adults often ask why because they want more detail..trying to work out whats for them or clearing things up kind of thing. I have been thinking about a different kind of Why.

I have found that its really helpful to remember why i am doing the things im doing. University, following Jesus Christ and even blogging. It is when i forget the why that i feel like throwing my hands in the air and say “why bother”. So im really thankful to be reminded every so often to dont let go of the why because it can be a bit like fuel.

Nothing new or profound here but i rekon everyone has a why in their life that drives them..sometimes we need to pull into the pitstop and be refreshed. i hope you find some encouragement from reading this.

Just in time

In a future where people stop aging at 25, but are engineered to live only one more year, having the means to buy your way out of the situation is a shot at immortal youth. Here, Will Salas finds himself accused of murder and on the run with a hostage – a connection that becomes an important part of the way against the system.–IMDB

Well i finally went and watched the movie “In time” last night and i really enjoyed it. I didnt know to much about the story but from what i was told i was a little curious. Obove is the blurb from the IMDB wesite and i will try not to give to much away but that will be a challenge as i want to share with you what impacted me the most abou the movie.(so if you havent seen it i hope you will want to go after reading this) I am a massive fan of movies and though there are plenty of crappy flicks out there, there are plenty more that have awesome thought provoking stories. I think this is one of them.

Apart from the action and the relationship between the two main charecters there is another story going on, one that i found confronting because i think its happening all around the world today and because i need to make a choice and respond to what i see and hear. In the movie everyone has a certain amount of time but its not distributed fairly. Those that are wealthy and live on the right side of town of course have more time than those who live in poorer conditions.  Time to the wealthy is of no concern because they have plenty of it and everyone else spends all their time just getting by. There is evidence of injutice but no one really has the time to stand and fight for their right to live so everyone continues to live in a system that is broken.

The main charecter(Justin Timberlake) is given a gift that he never expected from a man who has given up hope and who’s last words were “Dont waste my time”-My favourite line in the movie. Will salas clearly see’s that there is a need for someone to be a voice for those who are just surviving, and a thorn in the side to those who are living  and benifiting from the system that has become dehumanising and oppressive.

I have just finished my first year at university(studying international community development) and even though im thankful that i survived(JUST) and now have a chance to relax, there are many quetions that im left with that at some stage i will need to answer. In time has made sure that the four month break ahead of me wont just be about switching my brain off and im looking forward to the chance to work through some of the stuff that has been raised during the last two semesters.

  • What kind of structures can i see that abuse peoples human rights
  • Can i see people oppressing others so that they gain something from this abuse
  • Do i in anyway treat people as if i have more rights than they do
  • What am i willing to do to see change take place and will i be an advocate for those who are stuck

Yes this movie is a little far-fetched, but in reality the poor and oppressed struggle while many others live with much more that they will ever need. Those of us that not only live comfortably but have the time are face with many choices but lots of responsibilty. Like the main charecter in the movie, i have been given a gift-TIME, and though it would be easy to waste it on things that dont matter i want to instead use it to encourage and allow others to not just survive but to live.

Thanks for reading. If you have any thoughts in reponse to what i have written or have seen the movie, please feel free to leave a comment

 

 

 

You have the right to remain silent

We often see on the news and read in the papers how peoples human rights are violated, actually i would go as far to say thats mostly what we see in the news these days, and the issue probably doesnt have as much effect on us as it should anymore. Whether it be people dying from hunger, others who are displaced because of fear and violence or children used for things no child should ever experience, we are constantly bombarded with images of things happening a world away. It would be easy to sit back and think “well thats not my problem, thats so far away and i have my own stuff to deal with or im happy to give some cash to a cause and my bit is done”. No, i think there is no escaping when it comes to human rights-distance is irrelevant, its not just about physical violence, a dictator abusing power or even minding your own business.

 To be honest, i havent really ever given much thought about human rights.(apart from my right to things like good public transport and not to wait in line for longer than 3 minutes) One of my subjects at Uni this semester has forced me to start thinking more…and it hurts. We have looked at the history of human rights, how the Universal Declaration of human rights came about, what it means to have a right and touched on how the rights of different people have been violated over time. Every week one Question would be answered only to have many more Questions to pop up in my mind. One of the biggest convictions i have had during this time is that so often i am more concerned with my human rights and are my needs being met that the rights of others are always somewhere at the bottom of the list of things. So are we more consumed with our own rights that we often forget the many humans around us and their basic rights?

Im shocked when i take a look at what the human rights are that were put together back in 1948. Not because so many since then have had their rights violated but because its happening here in my own backyard in so many ways that it feels like its just normal part of our society that people go without. I hope you who read this, especially those who havent,  will have a look at the all the articles listed on the Declaration of human rights. Areas i see in which peoples are being violated that are close to him are childrens rights. Even before a child is born a parent/parents have a massive responsibility to see that their child is born into a safe environment where they can grow, feel safe and have a education that will encourage their gifts but this isnt happening and the impact it is having on our young people is really sad. Those seeking asylum from persecution in other countries. What can i say about this issue..Australia is guilty of being involved in violating the rights of those people seeking asylum. Unfortunatly the words asylum seeker now leaves a bad taste in our mouths when it should cause us to stand up and be a voice and offer a safe place. The right to equal pay for equal work. The rights of woman, especially in the work place have come a long way but you dont need to be a female to know that much work needs to be done to see woman being treated equally. When i think of all the woman who are mothers and manage a household and everything that comes a long with it im amazed..and even more amazed that they dont get paid for he role they play. Well i could go on and on about things in our own backyard that need attention but when you stop and think about it you will see that human rights affect us all.

Yes i have the right to remain silent and just get on with my life but unfortunalty i dont think thats going to happen as education is all fun and games until you see the need to apply the things you learn. I dont have to be a parent, a woman or  someone seeking asylum to stand up and support or be a voice for them. Is it time for all of us to stop protectng our own rights so much that other people are being left behind in the process? Just because rights cant be enforced does it mean that we should put this issue in the too hard basket and continue turning a blind eye and a deaf ear?

Im interested to hear your thoughst on the subject so please feel free to leave a comment and thanks for dropping by