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Sunday, 27 April 2014


work of art formed from disparate sources

People have a great interest in their own identity; in figuring out exactly who they are. Why else do we have so many personality tests? Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the enneagram, multiple intelligences, the Big Five, the MMPI, and even the Rorschach test have become commonly used to try and determine a particular ‘personality type’. Often, tests will have a specific number of types, and at the end of a test, you will be given one of those types. The number of types could vary from only a handful, to a dozen, to more. 

And often, questions are asked as an A or B situation; you must pick which option is more true for you. In some, you might have a scale that you can go between, but are often asked not to have too many in the middle. I don’t think there are many tests where you can pick both A and B, or neither A or B. And yet - often, that is actually the case. You are encouraged to try and pick which one is more true, even if both are true. Otherwise, the results would just be inconclusive, and you wouldn’t find your type, and then the test wouldn’t work!

But I think this is actually quite a common thing - perhaps not something with everyone, but fairly common. I think that all too often, what people are cannot be simply defined by a specific type; they are instead, more of a mishmash, a bit of everything put together, a pastiche.

A pastiche, as defined by, is a “work of art formed by disparate sources,” which is a great way to put it. (Also one of the best short sentences to describe me, which I found amusing.) We are each a work of art, created by God; and often, the things that make us who we are can be very different, very disparate. Our parents, our friends, our environment, our school, our teachers, our church, our work, and so many other things - each of these shout a million different things, and somewhere in the midst of that chaos, a person is made. An identity, slowly, is formed. In response to all of that. And people think they define it, confine it, simply?

Identity is never simple. If you want to discover who you are, then look inside yourself; ask yourself questions, instead of looking to others for answers.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

At Your Core.

So, I've been away at Easterfest for the past weekend. And I'm heading away on my next Impart Intensive next Monday - hopefully I'll get a post up about my experience before then. If not, I'll definitely get up my vlog that I did towards the end.

But what this post is on is something that I was thinking about on my way back. I had a lot of time to think, because it's all the way up in Toowoomba, and that's a long drive. I read for some of it, but I still had lots of time on my hands. A did a fair bit of sleeping as well. But yeah, lots of thinking.

So, I've mentioned on here before that I'm an Aspie. Well, kinda. Latent or some such. Anyway, as such I'm seeing a psych. Always thought that it would be amusing - something like it's portrayed in Artemis Fowl (if you've never read it; essentially, he's a young [twelve I think] sauvant guy who comes across fairies/gnomes/goblins/the lot, proceeds to blackmail and then become great friends with them, and slowly get pulled out of his no-emotionality) - but it's actually been quite interesting insofar. And there was one nugget that was mentioned in my last session (I've only had two) that I found quite interesting.

Essentially, the important bit was that we each have core beliefs about ourselves; they usually are initiated from when we are quite young, tend to permeate through our whole life, are often negative, and are notoriously difficult to pin down and get rid of.

So we each have these. And randomly (as you do), on the ride back home, I realised what a couple of mine are. Well, a couple of my negative ones. And came up with something of an idea about how to get rid of negative ones as well - a three step plan! Because they always work so well.

Name It, Shake It, Replace It.

Naming It - this means being able to pin down what it actually is, specifically. As specific as you can get; it's much harder to fight against a general, blanket sort of thing. You need to name what the issue is.

Shaking It - this means getting rid of the bad, putting out the old. This, you can't do by yourself. You need friends, you need family, you need people around you that are telling you that these things are not true. Because you telling yourself doesn't work, and you know that. And this is where the third one comes in.

Replacing It - because it's not enough to try and just get rid of something bad. You need to replace it with something good. With truth. You need people speaking into your life; speaking life, and truth, until you have a new core belief - a positive one. This needs to relate directly to the one you're getting rid of - it might be the polar opposite.

This post, however, isn't so much a self-help for you folks reading it. This is Naming It for me.

I found two. I probably have more, but two, for now, is enough to be starting with.

I am unseen; unnoticed; unneeded. I am just a random body, and anyone else could have done what I did.

I am unloved, unwanted and uncared for. People think I am repulsive and don't want to talk to me, and definitely wouldn't touch me. Addendum: even if people do seem to care, love or want me, that's because they don't know me that well. If they knew all that I had done, they would be disgusted by and hate me.

It's going to take a lot to shake and replace these two. Thankfully, it's something that's already started to happen. God's been working on the latter a fair bit in the past while. But there's still a long way to go. But, with a little help, I think I'll get there, slowly :)

And no, I'm not going to be posting this on Facebook for everyone. There's being open, but there's also being somewhat...astute, I think is the word. There's a lot of negative potential here as well as positive, so I'm going to try and swing it a bit by sharing this more so with the people that I think will be reacting positively to this.

Sunday, 20 April 2014


Today, I saw a sign that said, "Happy Easter! Be safe, enjoy." Some people would say that the second sentence there is somewhat oxymoronical - it contradicts itself. If you make everything too safe, how can you have fun? There are, of course , always things like reading and chess, but they don't seem to be enough for everybody. 

And yet, we do this a lot with our Christianity - and we have particularly done this with Jesus. We make him into this joyous, always happy, laughing, peaceful, loving, really nice guy who was the perfect gentleman. And some of that is certainly true, and to say he is not loving or joyous would be just ridiculous. But these things are not all he was. 

Jesus was not safe. When you hear about him driving the people from the Temple courtyard - I think some versions say with whips - does that sound safe? There is a righteous anger in this man, there is danger. He would often heat it up with the Pharisees as well, of course, his regular sparring partners; over the course of the Gospels, he calls them whitewashed tombs and a brood of snakes; there are a few others as well, but they're just a couple of the better ones. These weren't safe words, or the actions of a safe man - these were dangerous words and actions from a dangerous man; so dangerous that the Pharisees plotted to kill him. 

And the Easter story is the least safe of all. We surround it with chocolate, and eggs, and bunnies - but he was whipped. Beaten. A crown of thorns pressed into his head. Then he had to carry the cross - which was pretty sturdy stuff, it weren't no balsa wood - while still bleeding and having those open wounds. They forced massive nails through each hand, and a bigger one through both his feet. And then made him hang by them, hang off the holes in his hands and feet. The cross wasn't safe. 

And there were people there shouting at him - taunting him, saying, if you are who you say you are, then come down; save yourself! And we can't know exactly what he was thinking; but I wonder if it was tempting. The thought of just healing himself, coming down off the cross - ending the pain. But he didn't. Right until the end, Jesus didn't play it safe. He didn't just take the easy path. 

So often in our lives, we'll play it safe. We live safe lives; we hide away our troubles and problems and pain, because that's easier. We don't have to worry about it now, and if we hide it, then no one else has to, either. So we act. We hide. We play safe. 

But Jesus didn't just die - he rose again. He came back to life, he conquered death. He was reborn, and showed us that we, too, can be reborn in him, and have new life. Not a safe life. Not an easy life. But real life, full life, the way it was meant to be.

I'm dangerous. Not to you, but to the Enemy, I am dangerous. Because I am living life to the full. Are you dangerous? Are you living life to the full?

Sunday, 13 April 2014


Seem to be doing quite a few of these more honest/reflective posts recently. It's interesting. Anyway.

God's been challenging me with lots of things over the last few months. You may or may not remember this post: that I did - wow, a couple of months ago. One of the challenges I mentioned there was bringing my focus away from a relationship with someone I was interested in, and back to a relationship with God. So the idea was to go the whole year without thinking about that sort of thing, and just focussing back on God.

My heart chucked a tantrum at that one, it didn't seem to like the idea too much. It's been loving someone (not the same someone, to clarify) for six years, and my memory starts to fade before then. So yeah, it didn't listen too well to that.

It's not the feelings themselves that are an issue. The feelings are real, and true - I think they always have been. The issue is that my heart can't let loving God be enough. Not God's love, you understand - loving God. Because my heart needs someone to love - doesn't matter if nothing happens, it's used to that. It just seems to like pining away from afar, and throwing me in head over heels at a moment's notice.

I was fiddling around on the guitar (I can't really play it; I cheat-tune it to make it easy for me), and I wrote this song called Enough based on this idea. I essentially wrote it as I played it, and it only took me ten minutes or so. If you want to have a listen, it's up here:
Quite like the feel of it.

The chorus says this: "And I’ve known this for so long/So why can my heart not tag along/And let you be enough". And that's the challenge. I know how it's supposed to work. I know what needs to be happening. I know and believe that God is enough for me. I just don't know how to get my heart to feel that - because that's a whole 'nother level. And I've experienced that level jump before a couple of times - sometimes it's slow and gradual, sometimes it's a bit of a jolt - but I know that's what I need to work towards.

So what does that mean for the feelings I have now? I don't know. I know (from experience) that there's not much point trying to suppress them - they'll either come raging back up, or I'll gradually develop feelings for someone else. That's where my heart is at at the moment, and that's what I have to try and work out. And I don't know how that's going to work, or how that's going to look. But, hopefully, with God's help I can do this.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

By the grace of God.

So, the album launch was last Saturday night, and I thought it was about time I posted about it.

About as many people turned up as would be at our night service (a couple of dozen, for those not from my church). I sold about 8 CDs, and all up we raised around $350 for the Hub (the community pantry being started up at our church). So that's pretty cool.

It was really awesome having Jordan Worner there (as my opening act! was kinda weird), because he was my first choice for who I wanted to open the night, and he was happy to do it from when I first asked him. And, of course, he was amazing. But I knew he would be.

And I got a lot of great feedback from people, particularly about my songs, which I'm really happy about. Because you always tend to worry when you're putting that bit of yourself out there for everyone to see - and that's what you're doing when you create. Every song you write is a part of your own story; some just don't say that they are. And it's the same with all sorts of creativity.

So that was really good :)

And I know that it couldn't have worked out if not for God. I was away at Perth for about a week beforehand; and for the three days before I was on camp. Before I started, I hadn't touched a piano in four days. I was still looking for people to fill in roles while I was over in Perth. A lot of it was coming together still in the days leading up to it, and even on the day. And there were still things that needed sorting out when we got there.

And yet, despite all that, it worked out. God is an awesome God.


And if you would like a CD, they're $10 and I have a few left still.