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Friday, 29 March 2019

Down And Out.

It's been a while, folks. Apologies. I haven't done much of an update in a while.

That's for a few reasons, but mostly - I haven't been doing well. Not well at all, on a number of levels, but particularly emotionally and mentally.

It's recently come up that I may have depression. I haven't received an official diagnosis or anything, but each day that goes by seems to reinforce that possibility. The doctor has me on medication for it. Hopefully I'll see some positive results from that soon.

But it's been meaning that, even though I have some awesome things happening - engagement and directing The Crucible bring chief among them - I'm feeling quite detached and uncaring much of the time, and struggling to motivate myself to do anything much. It's not great. I'd say I'm probably at the lowest I've been - or at least, for the longest. Thankfully, I have some good to counterbalance it, and awesome people around to lean on.

At the same time, God has been repeatedly challenging me and pushing me. Constantly, he is asking me to take a step out in faith and trust him, to actually use some of these creative talents that I've been given. To come back to some of these projects and ideas that he's entrusted me with. To be doing work for him, and his people.

And that's challenging, particularly from a financial perspective. We're planning to get married in January. That's not exactly cheap. On that note, neither is rent. Or life. I don't earn much as it is. It's going to be a lot less if I'm focusing on things like music, writing, speaking, etc. It's very difficult to earn much doing those. You can, but it usually takes a long time to get there. I don't really have that time or luxury.

But it's what I'll be doing anyway. For both of the reasons above, I'm finishing up with my job at Hope. It's not a decision made lightly, or on the spur of the moment - this has been something that I've been going back and forth on and thinking about for a good month or two now - but it is happening. Next week, actually.

Which is both extremely scary, and rather exhilarating.

I'm hoping that I can use this season to take care of myself a bit better, so I can actually be a better me. So I can use these gifts I have, and maybe even get paid for it. Or maybe I'll find bits of other jobs. We'll see. I don't know yet.

But I know that God does. And this an adventure we're on together. I may be blind - but I'm being led by the best guide there is.

I'm looking forward to sharing the next chapter of this story with you. I'm sure you'll hear more from me before too long.

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Inclusive and Exclusive People

If you haven't heard about the horrible events over in Christchurch the other's pretty grim. Basically, a guy from Australia (yes, our own country) went over to a mosque with guns, and shot pretty much everyone he could see. There are near fifty confirmed dead, and more wounded. He livestreamed the event, and uploaded the video to social media.

Let me be clear. This is an act of terrorism. The sad fact is, we are already getting people who are saying different. Who are demonstrating their Islamophobia, and saying that Muslim immigration should be restricted. I'm looking at you, Fraser Anning. To those outside of Australia - he's one of our Members of Parliament. Yeah.

This wouldn't be happening if they didn't think there was an audience for it. If they didn't think that there was a strong group of supporters behind that opinion. And that's the scary thing. Not that we have a rogue MP who has terrible views; we're used to that sort of thing by now. Heck, these days we're used to that in our presidents and prime ministers.....but that's the problem. These people wouldn't be in power if there wasn't the numbers there to support them and their ideas.

Which means, chances are, you know people that think this way. There are probably people that are reading this blog post who think this way. (Assuming they haven't stopped reading by now, that is.) Exclusive people. And it doesn't really matter who it is that they exclude. Whether it's by religion, race, gender, sexuality, mental or physical health - people that want nothing to do with a certain group or groups of people, and think that they shouldn't be a part of their country. Or sometimes, their world.

This isn't okay. If it isn't obvious - in today's world, we are becoming increasingly connected by technology. We are more and more in each other's backyards (metaphorically speaking), but also more and more seeing movement around the world from country to country (literally speaking). Australia has (apparently) prided itself on being a multicultural country; but more and more, this won't be just an Australian thing. Communities won't be able to seclude themselves, and peoples will be mixed that haven't mixed before. Tensions will be raised, and cultures will mix and mash in strange and different and amazing ways.

In all of this, we need people of inclusivity, not exclusivity. People that are willing to include others, regardless of their background or who they are. Because, at the most basic, we are all human. We are all different, but we are all the same. We need to come together, not be split apart along lines of country, or race, or religion, or gender, or whatever else. Particularly when our world is groaning and falling apart because of what we've been doing to it over the last centuries.

We need inclusive people. And I very much hope that you are - or that you can be - one of those.