God Bless you and your family.
Jess and I try to live our lives as presently as we can, and prioritise our families and relationships. One thing we often say is that we wont ‘Sacrifice the present for the future’. That may hit your ears oddly, as it still does mine. Aren’t we supposed to work now and play later? Didn’t the ant live through the winter while the lazy grasshopper froze to death outside. This type of living seems odd in our current uncertain times, when many are trying to secure their financial future. But we find we have more than enough, and that the future is even more uncertain than we realise. Perhaps the future we’re trying to save is not the one we want, better to enjoy the present. Just my thoughts…
Fish are graceful creatures as they float through the waters of a river or the sea. In giant schools they seamlessly manoeuvre through their environment. Beautiful elegant, look at them go!
I've never actually tried to juggle fish, though I imagine it is very difficult indeed. My experiences of handling only a few at a time lead me to believe that if I were entrusted with any greater number my exploits would be comically haphazard. Forget about juggling, I can barely get by holding all of the things at once.
Holding them is almost impossible as they casually flop and fall out of my slime covered hands. But the real fun begins when every time try to pick one up an avalanche of fish stream from my arms to the floor. Let's just say that Juggling fish is very difficult, and very very fun. You're probably expecting me to get to a metaphor soon, and here it is: I find balancing lifestyle much like fish juggling. This season has been enjoyable, with many ventures, opportunities and successes. But everything seems to be flying everywhere (like fish) and I have a relatively low pressure life style. So I guess I'm learning the lesson of trust and immersion; throwing myself into things with faith in the guidance and provision of God. I'm enjoying spending time with my family, working at SU, being creative on my blog and working in the garden. Most of all I'm enjoying the opportunity to discover how I want to invest my time and resources, talking about my gifts and the future, and working in the call God has for all to be a part of something amazing. Hopefully I’ll be Juggling fish soon!
Life isn’t fast all the time, that’s just perception. Maybe we should relax a bit and try lose momentum. I think it’s in times like that that we’re best able to see where the car is going, who we’re going with, and what we have to do to get there; if we want to truly get ‘there’ at all. Funny that the thing that slows us down can be going too fast. This was fun to draw.
Soooooo, I was reading comics from this site called Draw Until it’s Funny which basically involves unplanned comics that get longer and longer until they end somewhere. Sometimes they’re a bit hit and miss, but there’s something for everyone and you can see Justin Boyd’s (the author) more developed work at Invisible Bread. You can follow the link and check it out! Anyway, feeling inspired I made this comic, which I then gave two endings.
And even though it was largely unplanned, I’m now going to justify and explain this comic:
Ahhh, yeah, so the smoking represents the equality of people…and the Girl represents women of a female gender…
Ok, let’s not try to explain, I hope you enjoy it though. Maybe you can add meaning to it and let me know in the comment section below!
Right now I’m pretty hungry. But I guess that’s not really anything compared with the way millions of people living in poverty feel. People in my city, people in the world. Right now there’s serious famine starving Africa in a destructive way.
It’s difficult to imagine what we could do to change that, but the truth is we can. People have already jumped onboard to make a difference to the needy. These great and inspiring people work for organisations that see and (try to) fill the needs of the world. No one joins an NGO or not-for-profit for their own gains, these people are paying a great cost so others may live/eat/marry/grow. Spare a thought and a prayer for those people. Maybe you’re one of them, maybe you could be.
So what do we lack? Well that’s where everyone comes in: people are acting to help those in trouble, but their financial resources are not up to the task. You could change the world for real people, make a difference in the lives of our human brothers and sisters. You could be a hero, and all you have to do is click your mouse a few times. Or you could think about how your lifestyle affects those on the other side of the world, think about how you could live your life to give others a better chance. You could be one of those people, living a call to help others.
Change is possible, but it always costs us. Then again, not changing costs us to. You don’t have to take a vow of poverty, but you can think before you buy “Do I need this? Or could I be a hero instead?”
If you want to make a difference right now, do it! I recommend TEAR Australia as a personal favourite. But there’s obviously World Vision, UNICEF and Oxfam and countless others. I thought I’d do a little for sharing what I thought with you, may be you can share it with others. The world is full of problems that you have the ability to solve, be empowered!
I’m not quite sure what this cartoon is about, I think it’s about how good it feels to have someone back you up in a situation. But then I got thinking about the little guy, I bet he doesn’t feel real great. Maybe the others went to far, and didn’t take care of him. I guess it’s tricky to balance backing our mates and going overboard.
Hey, my exciting news is that I was asked to write a post for the SUNO blog about my exploits with Drama Church. I got to do some drawings and talk about my involvement in trying to make faith make sense in my world. You can check it out by clicking HERE! You may recognise the pictures from an older blog post, but there’s some new doodles in there too.
Thanks for reading,
Strange how in life the harder path is so often the better path. And by ‘harder’ I mean more costly to us and by ‘better’ I mean more beneficial for everyone. When things get tough it’s so easy to sell out others, rather than take to brunt ourselves, I guess that’s a broken survival instinct (broken in that it is short sighted).
The world will no doubt be transformed by those who take the harder path, not by those who save themselves. I hope I don’t cry out “I have no other choice!”, I hope to put others first in all circumstance.
The most pain my computer can give me is if it doesn’t work. Based on this, I’d say the Robot Apocalypse is a long way off of it’s full realisation. Still, Jess and I have become more aware of the devastating impact our technology has.
I had heard a long time ago that for each mobile phone there’s 80 garbage bins worth of waste in the manufacturing process. That’s to say, a lot; I reckon I probably don’t produce 80 bin loads in a year!
It was one of those vague, ambiguous, possibly non-true type facts that you never really check up on to see if it’s accurate, but keep you scared none the less. Well the other night, Jess and I were looking into maybe getting a new phone for Jess. Her plan had expired so we thought we could get one for practically free, and besides that’s what you do right? Jess and I try to be conscious of the human and ethical implications of anything we buy, so she did some research into what brands were ‘ethical’. Forebode….
Hazel has developed the ability to make items appear out of thin air. Yesterday she apparated a plastic jug of water, which she promptly flung to the floor. While this super-skill is exciting, it is a little alarming as she tends to apparate potentially dangerous items (Knives, scissors, shavers, etc.).
I know you’re thinking ‘Well you shouldn’t leave stuff lying around’ but seriously, we don’t even know where the jug came from, or how it got within arm reach of Hazel. So far a very wet floor is the only consequence of this skill. Though she did apparate Jess’ lost watch two days ago (it’s been missing for months!), that was pretty good.
Hazel continues to grow, develop and grow, remaining the tallest baby in her acquaintance. She is also beginning to explore the world as thoroughly as possible.
I haven’t been posting as regularly recently, Jess has been working and our timetables are both a bit stretched. I have some pics to share so I hope to keep up the pace of my posts for the next month and hopefully onward. Thanks for reading my Blog!
I always wonder about the day after. What the ‘end of the world’ style cults will do when the world doesn’t end. As a teen I was amused when this happened, now I’m pretty sad. Lot’s of people invested fully in the idea that something was going to happen, and then it didn’t. I’m especially sad to read all the articles about pensioners investing all their savings into ad campaigns warning people, or parents who have neglected their children’s interests in the same pursuit. There’s nothing amusing about this. I don’t think these people should be punished for committing to what they believed in, I just hope there’s some understanding in their community for them.
So, what now? I think Richard Dahlstrom summed it up in “And if the world doesn’t end this Saturday… Getting our Priorities straight” this week. But to put my own two cents in...
I think that we clean it up. The world isn't going anywhere fast, and though we have a lot of work before us there is really no other option. Some look at the mess and are willing to give up because of the size of the damage, but I'm more hopeful than that. A comment I saw recently said:
“I just don’t see everyone learning to love each other happening without His direct intervention. I don’t see the mega-rich stopping their exploitative business practices. I don’t see the rights of indigenous people being recognised; instead the genocide is covered up. I don’t see the poor and the disposed being cared for. I don’t see swords being beaten into ploughshares. I don’t see slavery and oppression coming to an end. So in a sense I am looking forward to the end of the world”
I think we can all relate to that pain of living in this broken world. But I see something different. I know that there is so much war, but then I do see places where swords are being beaten into ploughs. There is oppression, but I do see a transformation where that oppression is replaced with justice. I do see hate and greed and exploitation and genocide and lies and fear, but for all that God is working and transforming lives in real ways that brings about His kingdom on earth. I think this world would have rotted a long time ago if it was in constant decay, but it hasn't, because it's being slowly built up as well. I have a big hope for the future. A future that starts now.
I'm a big fan of unity, and so I don't like to take up a negative stance against those who believe much of what I believe as well. Still, I think that we should be able to think independently and disagree on many things, constantly trying to find the truth and broaden each others minds. That said, I find it rather amusing that yet another Christian group has picked the date of Christ’s return. Guess what, it's this Saturday!
More accurately, Jesus' return to earth is Saturday, with the subsequent destruction of the Earth on the 21st of October. My sister is miffed that she'll miss her 25th birthday this year.
Wecanknow.com makes the argument that 'Noah knew, and so can we' but their site is so bulky that the actual details of their reason for believing this, and their reason for picking this Saturday, are well hidden. Never-the-less, they invite you to pour through the data and pray for a revelation of the truth.
focussing on the destruction of the world is dangerous. We begin to live as thought the planet and our lives don't matter. It's like the old hypothetical 'What would you do if you had only a day left to live?' Provocative perhaps, but I think a way more challenging and telling questions is 'What will you do if you don't die tomorrow?' 'What will you do if the earth doesn't burn?' 'What if we have to lie in the bed we made for ourselves?'
Maybe we'll make a better bed. Maybe we'll treat the earth better. Maybe we'll live our lives more like we'd hoped. We have to put in the effort to heal and transform, because there's no reset button. I hope my life can be different because I have hope for the world we have. How about you?
My monitor got scratched this week. It’s sort of a dramatic scratch that stretches out over the expanse of the corner, starting on the piano black frame and bursting onto the LCD.
At first I was furious and desperate to fix it. And then I realised that there was no real need. There was nothing wrong with it. I wouldn’t even notice it after a day or two, it didn’t affect my experience at all. It’s strange how I worry so much about stuff that doesn’t really matter. I want to live more simply.
Recently I was going through some old files at work and came across a pile of student responses to a play we had performed a few years back. The play dealt with some heavy issues and after the show students could write/draw a response to the performance from their perspective. There was lots of cool stuff, Some dirty musings, some absent scribbling's and some thoughtful, heartfelt messages too. This image was one that stood out to me and I wanted to share with you.
I thought it was profound in that it drew a clear distinction between our thoughts and actions. My intentions and ideals will have little impact on this world, but my movements and actions will affect it greatly.
We’re told so often to shine and grow and lead and be the best.
Recently I’ve been very pleased to let go a bit. Not try to run all the activities and groups I’m involved with. I think I’ve always desired to be the leader of the group, and that’s a stressful position to constantly take. I’m getting the message that it’s healthy to let others do the work, let others take charge and make the hard calls, the decisions and mistakes. I hope it’ll be good to live in the shade, under the tremendous effort and inspiration of my peers and leaders. When I feel healthy, maybe I’ll come into the sun again.
I once worked for a power generation museum that educated school groups on how electricity was made and transported to our homes. One of the team working there was quite keen on educating students about the long term effects of burning fossil-fuels, and he used to regularly tell groups, “Every time you turn on a light switch, a little fish like Nemo DIES!” (Finding Nemo was a pretty big deal back then).
This was all good and well for a long time, until one day he said this to a group of students who were maybe a bit to young to cope with his poetic description of everyday pollution. A gasp went throughout the room, some tears were shed, they asked if they could turn off the lights in the museum and, needless to say, they were more than a little traumatised.
Exaggerating is fun, and enhancing stories with near-facts is a raw and creative poetic licence for our often routine lives. But in a world where so many causes compete for our attention (global warming, morality, human issues, marketing, relationships, Facebook) it seems that everything is blown out of proportion. My life is so larger than life, that it no longer all fits in: it’s bursting at the seems.
The world will end in 2012! If you eat your crusts your hair will turn curly! Your Ipad is ‘Magical’! Nine out of Ten Nutritionists recommend…! Certain unspeakable acts will make you go blind! If you litter a Kitten will get axed! All of these extreme messages, all of the time.
And do we believe it all? Or do we come to expect that things are less satisfactory than they present. After all, marketing must be based on convincing people that their experience of a product will be completely satisfying, life-alteringly so! And to convince you that those needs are actually met after you do purchase the product, they reduce your expectation of what a satisfying, life-altering experience is.
So here’s my thought, let’s start to talk about the world more accurately. Not the worst, not the best. Just is. And then let’s raise our expectations of what satisfactory is. We’ll strive for more and love even harder and ironically, I think we’ll be more satisfied. Thanks for reading, I love your comments!
There’s something to be said about persistence, but Hazel will sometimes sacrifice all in search of the goal. I think that some things come with too high a price, and people are more important than our goals as well. Or at least my eyes think so.
How often do we live in the moment? How often are we really present with ourselves right now?
I was once told that we can only really experience God, others, and ourselves in the present, but we spend all our time focussing on the past or the future. Not even on the people we’re with right now.
Try being present. Not here, you’re looking at a screen, go somewhere interesting. And try and be present. think about only things in that moment. How your body feels, how the air feels, sounds and sights, but only things in that moment. Try and enjoy it.
Here’s some sketches I made while in Augusta recently. I coloured them as well. I like the colours, but I’m not sure it was exactly like that. Thanks for reading. Theo