You are invited

For many are invited, but few are chosen.

Matthew 22:14

Jesus shows in this parable (Parable of the Wedding Banquet, Matthew 22:1-14) the sorts of people who will get into heaven.

Then he said to his servants, “The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.”

Matthew 22:8-9

God invited the pharisees, but they weren’t willing to listen. So he invited everyone. But once invited, there are certain responsibilities. In the banquet, the one who didn’t put on the wedding clothes got the boot. Likewise, when we become followers of Jesus, we need to put on the clothes of Christ.

You’ve been invited to Christ’s banquet… What are you going to wear?

The discarded Capstone

He who falls on this stone  will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.

Matthew 21:44 (NIV)

I’d never heard this verse before, but it really stood out today for me. Just before this, Jesus has quoted Psalm 118:22-23 and told the parable of the tenants. It’s obvious in the parable that the land owner is God, and the son is Jesus. Likewise the stone that the builders rejected is Jesus. He has become the cornerstone that is marvellous in our eyes.

The contrast in verse 44 stood out to me. “He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces” When you fall at the foot of the cross, when you come to Jesus, he will break you into pieces. He will break down the wall that we have constructed, and he will start to work in our lives through the broken pieces.

“But he on whom it falls will be crushed.” Jesus is warning the chief priests and the Pharisees that the only way to God is through him. Whoever doesn’t come to God through Jesus will be crushed by the cornerstone when Judgement comes.

So what do we do by knowing this? We go to the cross, allow ourselves to be broken and allow Jesus to build our lives into one that will produce fruit for the kingdom of heaven.

What I do when I can’t think of what to write

Writer's Block... Why bother...
Image by Arnett Gill via Flickr

Writing a post every day can be pretty tough. When I can’t think of what to write on my blog, there’s a number of places that I go to get inspiration.

  1. Daily Post. The Daily Post issued the challenge to write a blog post every day of 2011. They support this by posting a prompt every day. I’ve written a few of these, and always link back to the original post. But sometimes they just aren’t something that inspires me to write.
  2. Plinky. Plinky does a similar thing (in fact, Daily Post takes a number of their prompts from Plinky). But because they’ve been doing it for longer, there’s a great backup of prompts for me to choose from. But again, they won’t always provide me the inspiration to put together a decent post – that is, I could answer the question, but it’s not always going to be a post that reads well.
  3. Other blogs. I have a number of other blogs that I keep track of in my Google Reader. I have sometimes found that through reading these posts, it will spark an idea as to what I might be able to write about either expanding on a blog, or in response to that blog post.
  4. News. Keeping track of current affairs will often give me an idea of something to write about. Whether it’s a response to an issue in the media or politics, or my thoughts on a particular news story, it’s all a potential blog post.
  5. Write a “What do I do when I can’t think of what to write” post. When all else fails, you get todays post. Hope you enjoyed!

My (crazy) Wish List

Bugatti Veyron
Image via Wikipedia

Each year, for Christmas and for my birthday, I will be asked to write up a wish list to help people shop for presents. When I create a wish list, I always like to include some slightly more expensive presents that I’m sure no-one will get for me. The reason I do this is because I think that it’s good to wish for such stuff – firstly if someone gets it for you, then awesome, but it also means that you won’t know exactly what you’re going to get. There’s always that bit of a surprise. However, there are a lot of things out there that I’d love to put on the wish list but are even further above the price range that it would be just silly. So I thought today I’d list 5 things I’d really love to have on my wish list, but are stupidly expensive.

  1. The Optimus Maximus Keyboard – US$1,599 (
    This is an awesome keyboard that takes customising to the max. Each key has an OLED screen that you can program to change depending on what you’re doing. Working in Photoshop? Each key can show the shortcuts. Playing a game? It can show animated GIF’s to show what macro is assigned to it. I would most likely program the keyboard shortcuts for Sibelius (which would be most awesome). Bit expensive, but if I was working on these sorts of programs often, it would be totally worth it.
  2. Maton Guitars – EM100 Messiah andBB2100 JH Josh Homme Queens of the Stone Age Signature – $8198 (The Rock Inn and Acoustic Inn)
    I’ve loved Maton guitars for a while, and would love to get a “Maton Set” of an acoustic and an electric. Would be expensive to get these two – the most expensive at The Rock Inn, but the tone would be worth every penny.
  3. Star Trek: The Next Generation Complete Series – US$310.99 (
    I love Star Trek, and The Next Generation is my favourite series. While this one is slightly possible, as I will most likely buy the single series over time, I’m putting this up here because the complete box set is something that I would never expect anyone to buy for me.
  4. JonPaul Maestro Carbon Fibre Bow – $3850
    Carbon Fibre bows are the future of violin bows. With a dwindling supply of Pernambuco making it ever more expensive to make new pernambuco bows, carbon fibre has turned out to be a cost effective method of making really fine bows. This Maestro bow would perform to a similar standard of a $8,000-10,000 bow.
  5. Bugatti Veyron 16.4 – Price: a lot.
    I was just going to put a car, but seeing as it’s my crazy list, I may as well put the craziest of all cars. The Bugatti Veyron, the worlds most powerful car, offering 1,001 horsepower. It has a top speed of 407km/h. My memory puts the cost at over $1,000,000. If you’re dreaming big, you can’t get much bigger.

So that’s my crazy wish list. What’s yours?

But the Lord was not in the Earthquake

Cover of "Where Is God When It Hurts?"
Cover of Where Is God When It Hurts?

I wasn’t going to write about the New Zealand Earthquake, because quite honestly I didn’t think that I had anything to offer. There were plenty of things that I could write about this terrible tragedy, but should I use such a tragedy to get views on my website? It just didn’t seem quite right.

However, I noticed in my RSS feeds a couple of posts with a similar theme. Transforming Mission titled theirs “Where is God when it hurts? Where is God in the Suffering?” and the Wondering Pilgrim entitled his post “The “why?” question rises again

So while I don’t want to address the earthquake itself, I want to look at a couple of pieces of scripture that come to mind. First from 1 Kings 19.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”
Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

1 Kings 19:11-12 (NIV)

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NIV)

Two thoughts relating to these passages. Firstly, the passage from 1 Kings. God was not in the great and powerful wind, nor the earthquake or the fire. After all of that came a gentle whisper – and the Lord was in the gentle whisper. When you think about what has happened in Oceania in the past few weeks, we have had floods, fire, cyclones and earthquakes. All disasters. All things that we wouldn’t wish on our enemies. But after all of these, what comes? Growth, renewal, revitalisation, rebuilding. Sometimes, you need to go through the pain to get to the point of growth. After the disasters, God is there. That is evidenced by the multitudes of Christians (and non-Christians, I must point out) making themselves available to help out. Whether that’s serving the emergency services workers food and drink when they’re working, or whether it’s donating proceeds of Op Shop sales, or holding retiring offerings as donations to relief funds, God is there in the recovery.

As for the passage from Isaiah, God’s ways are different from ours. We can pray for things to change, and we should be encouraged to do so. However, we should not be disappointed when our prayers seemingly go unanswered. Our ways are not God’s ways. God’s ways are higher than our ways. As my officer put it, The deepest, most insightful, most brilliant of our thoughts is foolishness to the Lord, and the Lord’s most foolish thoughts are still far beyond our understanding. I believe that God’s heart would have broken over the lives lost in these recent disasters. Could he have stopped the earthquake? Absolutely. He is the one who created the world. However, as I share a thought from my dad, The Lord is the one who put this world in motion. He is the one who created the world. He created the laws of nature. If he was to come and stop an earthquake, or a flood, or a cyclone, he would be saying that the laws that he put in place we not perfect, as he is perfect. It would make everything that our world is based upon based on a lie. Whether this thought is how it works or not, I don’t know. And I’ll probably never know. However, it is through this thought that I can make peace with God when I get angry that prayers go unanswered. He knows what he’s doing. He has my life in his hands, and I will trust him completely. Though it may be painful, though it may be beyond comprehension, I will trust in him, and pray to him, and praise him whatever the outcome.

Political Rumblings

Looking Outward
Image by Tony the Misfit via Flickr

I was reading Psalm 2 yesterday, as I decided it was time to start acting on this crazy idea that I had a while ago of writing a song based on every psalm. I got one written for the first psalm, but then stopped. So I thought that I’d read the first psalm, and then let it mull for a couple of days. The links between this psalm and current events sure crossed my mind when reading it.

Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the LORD and against his anointed, saying,
“Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”

I will proclaim the LORD’s decree:

He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
You will break them with a rod of iron;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the LORD with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

With the revolution in Egypt, and now in Libya and Bahrain, the political world in the Middle east is undergoing a radical transformation. The most crazy thing is that all of this is happening all at once. Generally what has happened is that the leaders have stopped listening to the people, just as the leaders at the time of this psalm had stopped listening to God. The results are the same. The people will be angry, and it will lead to their destruction. As we’ve seen, the wrath of the people can flare up in a moment.

Will I be able to turn this psalm into a song? I don’t know. I’ll need some more time to mull on that issue.

The death of multiculturalism

Julia Gillard
Image via Wikipedia

Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, finally bowed to the pressure from Talk Back radio shock jocks, and their outraged listeners and callers, and declared that multiculturalism was dead, and all immigrants were to return to their home country. There was much rejoicing in the streets. Continue reading “The death of multiculturalism”

Music that makes me happy

Aaron Barrett of Reel Big Fish playing at Wayn...
Image via Wikipedia

Inspiration today from the Daily Post topic, which is When you’re feeling down, what music makes you happy?

There’s a whole heap of music that makes me happy, and I’m going to share some of my favourites with you and explain why.

First up is a bit of an odd choice, as I wouldn’t normally listen to this band. However, Fleetwood Mac‘s Tusk always gets me bopping. I think it’s a mix of the jungle-esque drum beat and the “UCLA Sucks” Guitar riff. I think it’s hard to feel down when listening to this.

Next up is a style of music that will get be happy all the time. Ska music is so happy and boppy, I love it and it gets me happy all the time. I’ve got two favourite bands, Reel Big Fish and Sounds Like Chicken. I’ve chosen Reel Big Fish’s cover of Take on Me, and Sounds like Chicken’s Take one down

However, if I’m in the mood for a classical pick me up, it’s got to be the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.

What gets you up when you’re feeling down?

Postaday2011 links


All the gear, no idea

I went to the Metro meeting this evening, and heard our new Divisional Secretary speak. I must say that I feel sorry for the Corps they came from, and the new officers there, as he spoke very well, and seems like a very hard act to follow.
But he started the sermon off with sharing a conversation he had with the Territorial Commander, which when asked how he was settling into the new role he responded saying, “Got all the gear, no idea.”
It got me thinking, how many things do we have all the gear, but really have no idea about?
I’ve got a few things I can think of. My guitar is one. I’ve got an ok acoustic, though I wouldn’t mind upgrading, a decent electric, though I’ve always got my eye on one a bit better. I have the picks, straps, cables and more. I even have a very expensive pedal board that I’m sure I’m not using to it’s full extent. However, when it comes to playing guitar I know very little. Sure I can play chords, but I can’t play any lead lines. I really have no idea.
Golf likewise is something where I have all the gear but no real idea when it comes to it.
The big question is, accepting our areas of no idea about some things, what do we do about it?
What do you have all the gear for, but have no idea about?