Posts Tagged With: stories

Why I don’t write

I often have a conversation with myself as if I was writing for this blog. I so want to update this and write what is going on. And yet, I find myself with countless unfinished posts. There are a few reasons why the posts never get published. And one of them is not that life has become dull. On the contrary. It is rich. We are still seeing miracles and salvations. We are still seeing devastation and sadness.

The real reasons I have not been writing, I will try to explain here. And maybe a few will get it… and the others of you may just think I have clearly lost my head ūüôā

1. It (meaning life in the Alice) has all become so normal that it feels that I would be writing about the mundane, regular (which is by no means a lot of people’s regular) routine. Ok routine is probably too strong a word… but the rhythm of our life although to others hectic or bizarre, just feels the norm to us… so I struggle to know what to tell that would be of some interest.

2. It has become more personal. More real. Most of the people I would want to tell the stories of have become deeply connected to me and my family and to their families. Sometimes, I feel like it is sharing secrets (and although I have always as much as I can sought permission to share what I do) I don’t know how to explain some of the stuff I see. It is much more involved and complicated than it first appears.

3. I don’t trust what some people will do with what I have written. Some people like to take things out of context. Some people like to glorify it, and use that as an excuse about why they are not living a ‘naturally supernatural’ life. Others, use my posts as a way into the people’s or their families lives and do more harm than good. And I know there are others of you that are just encouraged and encourage me: so please for those of you in that category forgive my rant ūüôā ).

and lastly,

4. I haven’t known how to say, that as good as it is here, and as wonderful as it is to see God move and transform lives, ¬†there is also a whole lot of bodgy stuff going on here, and I’m not talking about the non-believers… and that sickens me and saddens me and angers me, and I have been seeking the Father what I do about this that will help bring change and I know for this to occur I will need to do it in His Spirit as it won’t be effective otherwise, I will be merely joining them in their self-glorification, etc…

So… maybe now this is off my chest, new things will merge. new posts will appear… I want¬†to share some of the testimonies, just not sure how or when.

Let me say how grateful I am for those of you who pray for me and my family. We seek in our lives in all things to honour Christ, to love people and to be transparent. I expect that other believers will do the same, and find myself hurt when they aren’t and don’t. But I suppose that gives me more opportunities to forgive, just like Christ forgives me :-). (Perhaps I should be like some of my friends who say they never have any expectations on people and therefore never get hurt or offended- but I don’t seem to be able to do that without shutting people out emotionally). A wise friend of mine has said we have to learn to be expectant without any expectations. When I have achieved that, I will let you know ūüôā in the mean time, please continue to uphold me in your prayers and I too will uphold you in mine.

Bless you,

Reb

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the year that was

So apparently 2013 has come and gone already. Wow. What a year.

We have been in Alice for almost 2 years now and this was definitely packed in and a time of growing and learning. I had a read of my personal journal entries from last year, and was interested by a post written in January. I felt that God had said that it would be a year that I would need to hold on tight, and had the verse ‘those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, they will not be moved (or shaken)’. Oh my, if only I had knew what truth that verse held for the year to come!

Allow if you will for me to reflect on some things I have learnt and/or been reminded of in this last year.

1.¬†Jesus when he was on this earth never put much weight on whether people approved of him or not, because it says that he knew their hearts and how fickle they were (are ūüôā ).

This has been helpful for me to remember when I’ve found people flattering me or when they have been outright slandering me, or the one’s that think they are above me. Jesus’ response teaches me to get to the place where I can respond in the same way (not that I have fully achieved this, but that I am aware of it is on the way). Jesus knew where to get his worth ,from his Father… and me? I’m working on doing the same, because the Father’s thoughts on me are unchanging.

2. Doing things scared is much better than not doing it at all.

2013 was a year of me starting to take risks again. I did things I would have done years ago, but that I had  stopped because I had let fear of man and failure creep in. I went in a 24 hr dance marathon with some friends (turned out to be one of the highlights of my year), I sung solos, I entered a 24hr film comp, I directed and performed in a drama in front of thousands of people.

3. Forgiveness isn’t the same as denial, it is freedom.

This year I came to some realisations that people I had cared for deeply, didn’t care the same for me, and my expectations of them to care had just allowed hurt to fester in my life. Other people had treated my family badly and still treat us with disdain even though we weren’t at fault. We have been let down countless times and the list goes on… I assume you could all write your own stories :-)… BUT God was teaching me a deeper forgiveness than I had experienced before. It was literally like he was walking me through some very¬†dark places ¬†but we did not stop there. I felt raw, but could feel his deep healing working as he unveiled truths (not always pleasant truths, but truths nonetheless). These truths are to allow me to still be in contact with these people but go in with my eyes open, deal with things in my own heart and guard against attacks from without.

4. Don’t get distracted.

Look after the people God has entrusted in our care. Keep the main thing, the main thing. Protect the sheep from the wolves but let God deal with people with their own agenda.

5.¬†God’s grace IS sufficient for me and His power is made perfect in weakness.

Sometimes I have felt so tired and not enough time to stop. But it is in those times, when I have not much of myself to give, that I have seen God work in His miraculous power. I’d pray for someone and they would begin to get excited and they would be healed. Or they’d ask what they might do to be saved. Or there’d be a stack load of kids turn up hungry for learning the Bible. Or the latest one, he would multiply our dinner to feed all the people who just randomly showed up at our doorstep with nothing. Just love how our God does that. Mostly, it reminds me, it’s not about me… It’s about HIM… It’s always about HIM ūüôā

AND lastly but not least

6. Laugh. Lots. Let your hair down. Never forget where you come from, but don’t get stuck there.

 

Bless you all. Thanks for taking this journey with me. I pray that 2014 is a year you say yes to God and what he is doing. I’m going to give it my best shot. And if last year was the year of ‘hold on’ or ‘stand firm’, ¬†then this is the year of ‘thrust’,20130911_160722 of moving forward, of breakthrough. Get ready to run. It’s going to be fantastic!

Reb

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Rupert (Wapa-wapa) Goodwin

(Please note that this post contains pictures of deceased persons).

Last week, another friend of ours passed away. I remember one day when we had not long arrived and one of my friend’s mum¬†just said ‘you will know grief well around here’. How true and sad that statement is. Once again, this man was close to little maku (my youngest) who prayed for him daily and wanted to go in to say goodbye before Mr Goodwin got to go and be with Jesus. Zion had a dream the night before Mr Goodwin passed away that the angel of death had come, which was interesting.

Rupert knew the stories of the Bible very well and loved to share ¬†them, actually he just loved to share any kind of story. Especially stories about when he was a ranger. I’ll never forget the first time I went into his home in Indulkana and the first thing he wanted me to see was the picture of him as a much younger and handsome (his words :-)) man standing with Uluru behind him. It was a fantastic shot and it had been used as an advertisement for tourism. He would talk all day with us if we had the time, and in particular my father and Ben spent countless hours with him having a great chat and prayer.

Rupert had a tough life, but it was a story of survival from start to finish, and he never lost his sense of humour. Rupert was one of the first people we met when we arrived in Alice and was probably the quickest person to warm to us as a family apart from his sister, Sarah. (She passed away last year and you can read about it  here in earlier posts on this site also here). He had a love for Hawaiian shirts and cowboy hats with bright feathers. One day I will share the story of his sister rescuing him when he was a baby.

He treasured his wife Yula and his children. He carried a photo of Yula around in his wallet and would show anyone he could and say and show how beautiful his wife was. She is a wonderful lady and is of course finding this time tough, she was with him when he passed and she had beautiful moments in his last couple of days to play songs they had treasured and just sit and chat with him.

I am not sure of Rupert’s exact age, but I am pretty¬†sure he is around my father’s age. It is pretty sobering to see renal failure take its toll on people. Although we will miss Mr Goodwin, we are glad that he had a relationship with Jesus Christ and so he is once again able to run around, and enjoy God’s creation in heaven. On earth, life was getting pretty tough, but now he is free and well and reunited with his sister. Please pray for his family at this time of sadness, and pray for those that don’t know the Father who loves them, that they will have an encounter with Him during this time. Thank you.

20130215_165719 Mr Goodwin and Ronald 001

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Another bus story

Ben (my husband), has done quite a bit of study on building inter-cultural relations and one of the things he has shared with me that has stuck with me: ¬†that they (not quite sure who¬†they¬†is, but let’s just go with experts in the field) say that humour does not cross cultures. You cannot assume that something funny for you will be funny to another people group. Well I suppose that can be said to be true if any media stories are to be taken as truth, where ‘jokes’ have gone wrong when they go off shore, or when I take my Greek friends to see “the Castle” and they give me a strange look and then I go to a live ‘Wog Boys’ ¬†show and they are falling off their chairs laughing whilst I am merely falling asleep.

But I have seen humour cross the cultural barriers when there is friendship. Something happens as you become familiar with people and they let their guard down, and we become playful. Where am I going with all this? Well where I inevitably go, if you talk to me long enough… to the church bus run.

On Sunday, a guy from church (we’ll call him Joel) and I, go on one of the bus runs for our church. Now we more or less pick up the same people every week and have the same conversation every week. We pick up a lot of older ladies from hostels in town (where they are living so they can get to their renal dialysis appointments 3 times a week). Twice a week we have the pleasure of picking up these ladies who most are walker or wheelchair bound and take them to church activities. Every week, they ask where Ben is, and I tell them, he’s waiting for them at church. They then ask where Maku (my youngest boy) is, and I tell them he’s at church waiting for them. And every week it’s the same, except for our random weeks, which I love. Like this Sunday.

Yesterday, we needed to drop off a gentleman on a different side of town than we usually go with our run, and we decided to take him first as the ladies usually like to go for a drive. So we began to travel slightly north, and they begin to say, where you taking us? Darwin? I say yes, and so begins the banter, in which most of them get involved, even the grumpy man at the back who said we were taking too long to get him home for his lunch. They say “the driver man (Joel) can catch us some fish… with a spear. And the man at the back can get us some kangaroo, which he says we can eat raw…” and so it continues…. it was as if the event was really taking place and we were all to be involved including the driver man hitting a goanna which we could cook up.

Now to you reading this, ¬†you may say where is the humour in this… Maybe it’s not hysterics, but it is playful, banter, imagination, fun… crossing all sorts of boundaries, cultural, age, gender and it worked. There was not one of us on that bus that wasn’t smiling and enjoying the story… It was a wonderful experience of humour crossing boundaries where it ‘should’ not apparently. I love being a part of these times. Stories that are really ‘you had to be there’ sort of stories, but one’s that convince me of this: that¬†love is what crosses all boundaries that are in our way. And where there is true love (that only God can give) for the people you come into contact with, no matter how hard and daunting it can sometimes be, good things happen and people’s barriers begin to come down… and true friendship begins and deepens.

Bus run

Some of the people we pick up on the bus

Categories: fun in the sun, My journey, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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