August And Everything After

Thursday, October 06, 2005

What do ya say?

I was at church on Sunday night...standing in the foyer and a guy starts talking to me. A wee while into our conversation another guy comes up and stands beside us waiting to be joined in the conversation. So I sort of stop guy number one and say "hey, I'm Simona" to guy number two. He has tatoos on his face, a tear drop and letters WST or something. But I didn't want to fall for all the stereotypes...I think to myself, you can't know anything about someone by their looks really.

I talk to them for a while..."so what do you do with yourself X?". The reply...well I just got out of jail...WHAT DO YOU SAY?. Whatever you say it sounds stupid...I ended up saying lame stuff like "ah it must be nice to be free"...I can hear you all laughing at me as you read this...it totally caught me by surprise, that is one thing I don't have a prepared answer for...find some common ground Simona find some common ground..."my mum works at the prison"...oh true, which one..........

Anyway...it was pretty funny. Good news is he was SUCH a cool guy. I asked him if he had been there before..."no", what did he think? "It was awesome eh, SO NOT WHAT I EXPECTED OF CHURCH", Will he be back..."DEFINATELY".

Friday, September 30, 2005

Mostly for Shannon and her admirers

How mental is this...its all over the internet...

(caution: may contain nudity)

click here

If only we were all so special

Monday, September 19, 2005

Are We The First?



Sunday, September 04, 2005

Amazing

Just got home from church...tonight at church was INCREDIBLE!
All I could think of to say afterwards is church does not get better than that.
I gave a testimony (sorry I know it was secret squirrel, I was too nervous). It went really well.
Visiting preacher, young director of YWAM NZ. He was so amazing. He was gentle and not tricky. EVERYONE was inspired and challenged.

The vast majority of young men in our church threw away the boxes they hide in and knelt at the front. Despite the fact Jay (preacher) didn't make it an easy alter call a lot of people went up to become christians. This was regardless of the fact that the preacher asked for all eyes to stay open and had those who went up stand at the front facing the crowd. He prayed discretely microphone away from mouth.

The presence of God was undeniable. There was no worship service at the end and it ended on the biggest high ever...A God high not drummed up in any way whatsoever.

Church just does not get better than that.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Spot the Difference

I went to my niece's netball game yesterday. At the end of it I said"what was the final score?". She replied "I don't know" so I told her to go and find out. She said they don't keep score. She also didn't know if she was in the A or the B team. Something has changed since I played friday sport.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Sound Like Brodie to Anyone Else?

Today I went to my politics class having read (at least most of) the readings assigned for the first time. The lecturer makes us each comment on what we thought of the readings. This time, I understood more than anyone else seemed to. So determined to get my participation marks I commented and answered questions with all kinds of economic jargon. I could just see the lecturer liking me more and more as the class went on. By the end of the class I thought I was pretty fly. So I went into the toilets, stood in a cubicle and danced (whilst verbally congratulating myself). THAT is when I realised that I am insane.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Animals, Intelligence and the Quarter Life Crisis

Greetings blogosphere.
Well I have had a lot to write about but now I have made my way to this loving computer...it has all gone. Had another goodbye in the last week. Beka from our cell group is off to Japan to teach english...brave girl but she will be great. And we have three new girls...one of whom (for all the Opawa veterans) is Alys Webster. It will be fun.

Had a tutorial today where we got some discussion going about this new theory....basically that our generation experiences (some of us at least) a quarter life crisis. When you think about the people you know you can probably think of some who have experienced this. There are so many choices, so much pressure (or sometimes not enough) and we go straight into uni and then realise about 25 that we don't want to be a lawyer or a psychologist or a teacher. Females can now be things other than teachers and nurses and males don't follow their father's occupation so often anymore...interesting theory...I think that I might buy into this one.

Another interesting discussion...different kinds of intelligence...lots of theories and some really good ideas. We all know that academic intellligence is not all there is to it. One guy talks about experiential intelligence (living and learning from the real world) and also contextual intelligence (knowing how to act in certain situations). When I thought about it I do know of people who are exceptionally good or bad at certain of these types of intelligence. I know one person who is very very intelligent and yet has real difficulty reading what is appropriate to say or do in a particular environment. Additionally we were looking at other theories of intelligence which seek to broaden this semi-useless word. Interesting...musical intelligence, linguistic intelligence, spatial intelligence (knowing what looks good e.g. art etc). There are heaps of them that we just kind of forget about.

One final thing to juice in your mind...me and Sharyn had a discussion on our walk last night which has me thinking (we choose a topic for each walk...it makes us go faster if we talk). Anyway...are human beings more important/valuable than animals? First thought...of course we are. But then I got thinking...We have a different purpose than animals for sure...We are created for a different kind of intimate relationship with God. But does that make us more important? (I'm not talking about vegetarianism here by the way). They fulfill their purpose, do what God created them to do and give God pleasure. So why are we more important? This is coming out more jumbled than it sounded in my mind. Anyway...food for thought (literally in most of our cases). I am leaning towards we are not more important. We are guardians of the earth, yes I believe that but I am not sure we are more important. Perhaps it is like the difference between us and angels (not that I am entirely clear on this either)? Interested to hear your thoughts.

Final comments...I wasted Liam in my speech at his 21st...oh boy...I was on fire....and on another note...I still miss Shannon (but am enjoying the dvd player I bought in my grief).

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

My Party

Well I just realised (half way through another post) that I am yet to blog about my party. It went great! Everything was perfect. We weren't exactly organised...when me and Shaun were the only ones setting up at 6.30 (party started at 7) and a couple of helpers arrived at 6.50, the panic was on. When the first guests arrived at 6.54 it was chaos...but after a few reminders to chill out it was ALL good.

The food was good (or so I am told), though my beautiful kebabs were tragically overheated when I handed them over. The foyer was the best place to have it. It worked perfectly for the amount of people I had coming. Nice and intimate. The couches and singstar and the vast majority of the people closest to me made it great. A few people were really missed but there will always be some who can't make it eh!

I never really like parties...and I feel older than 21 so I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did. It was so fun and so nice to have so many people I love and like so much in one room. Some new friends some old friends, some funny speeches and altogether a good night...apart from that blimmin picture Sharyn and that American put up everwhere...I tell you if she hadn't left I would have had her deported for that!!!

And the presents...oh the presents...I think the soft soft sheets and the new duvet cover may be contributing to my lack of ability to wake up at the moment...mmmmmn makes me sleepy just thinking about it. The quilt is yet to reach my bed...it likes keeping me warm on the couch too much...I could talk about all the presents for ever...but maybe I should just get thank you notes. Anyway...great 21st. Lots of fun. Thanks for everyones thoughts and prayers and words and attendance.

Goodbyes, My Consumption and War Without Mercy

Well the blogging has definately been few and far between. Lots has been going on since I last blogged. We have no computer at our new place which makes blogging necesarily intentional. I can't blog when I am bored any longer.

Last week held a couple of difficult goodbyes, a lot of business and a need for incredible amounts of sleep. Life has cooled down a bit (and when I say a bit, I mean only a bit) and routines are slowly working their way back. I am back at Elim properly, feeling motivated to get back into it and take my faith more actively. I have been thinking LOTS about all kinds of things and trying to finish each book before I begin the next. I have a cold and no job (which creates issues but God has looked after me heaps, each time I get close to the bottom line more money appears. He is faithful even when we are not).

I miss my bro and Shannon heaps and am hoping I will get used to it soon. After the second goodbye I thought I would treat myself so I went and bought 2 books: The kids book 'The Half Men of O' and 'Nicolas and Micah Sparks: 3 weeks with my brother' by the guy who wrote the Notebook. Me and Shaz also bought a whole bag full of books for $4 from the second hand christian bookstore. And yet it was not enough...more books than I can read in a year but still I feel the need for a treat...I love movies I really LOVE movies and we had nothing to watch movies on at home, so I went and bought a video/dvd player combo. I hired out 5 videos on the way home and I escaped into the world of the dvd......"mmmmmn that's better" I thought.

One of the videos we watched was farenheit 9-11. I found it disturbing. I raved about the (also disturbing) documentary Bowling for Columbine but I would not rave the same about this. Maybe I have read or seen too much between watching the first and second movies but it seemed, this time, such blatent propagana. I know that there has been far more propaganda on the more powerful side and therefore I guess we need someone strongly towing this line but I thought it took away some of the integrity I held to Michael Moore. I was tired when I watched it so maybe I should give it another go.

One of the things that annoyed me was that they gave me no choice about what I wanted to see. I am one who doesn't need to be disturbed anymore but there is no warning of what will happen. One minute the screen shows a home in America, then it cuts to a dead Iraqi child held right infront of your face. I don't mind looking away. Usually you have some idea when things could go bad and you can not watch for a bit. But it seemed like they did it on purpose, took away my right not to look. I know people need to be shocked. I agree, but I don't want to lose all faith in humanity. I AM shocked, I AM disgusted about so many things and I don't need to be backed into a corner for that to happen.

We also watched a dvd (from uni) called brothers and others. It was about the backlash against people who appeared Arabic or Muslim following the 9/11 attacks. About the unfair arrests and deporting of people, about lives that were absolutely ruined for no crime other than to have been born in another country or to have married someone from another country or to speak against war. All I could say through the whole movie was, "that sucks" "that totally sucks". I thought it was really really well done. Sad and scary: made me afraid of where state control will go. Made me think back to those high school lessons about the cold war and "reds under the bed". Have we learnt at all?

I saw a thing on the wall at uni today about the depleted uranium used in bombs in the gulf war, Kosovo, Bosnia, probably Afghanastan and this latest Iraq 'war'. Britain and the USA used depleted uranium because of its superior strength. It goes through walls and armour and burns severely upon hitting the target. The remainder sinks into the soil and water system. The problem (well one problem among many) is that it emits radiation and it causes cancer and illness to a horrible extent. Children have been effected especially badly. In Iraq since the gulf war the incidence of child cancer has sky rocketed. Both children's hospitals in Baghdad have had to build extra wings for children with luekemia following the Gulf War. There is not enough medicine. The US army left 300 tonnes of depleted uranium in Iraq after the gulf war. It emits 14,000 to 36,000 times the radiation emitted from the bomb at Hiroshima. What are we doing? How does all this stuff happen without us even knowing. How can people do this and still look in the mirror each day and think they are a good person. There are pictures on the wall of the library of the kids who have been effected by this. Some are recovering, some are dying, some are in terrible pain. Some of the kids smile at the camera, others are crying and some will no longer be alive...

Many haunt my mind even when I have walked away.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Everything's Black and White.... (and grey)

Well it certainly has been a while.
Motivation has been a little lacking, time a little short.
I went flatting on Sunday. I really love the place....the flatmates are alright too...a bit on the smelly side but they will do. Had heaps of visiters on Sunday which was nice and made it feel like home. I thought it would be a lot more sad leaving home than it was in reality. I have my first movie date with mum tonight (I suspect we may see more of each other now than when I lived there).

My 21st is coming up...its organised very late so could be rather a small affair. But it means that Adam (my one and only brother) and Shannon (George W) and maybe a friend from cell group can all come before they abandon me for greener pastures ;). It is a lot to organise...but it should be fun. Some of the invitations didnt arrive at peoples houses...so it may be even smaller...but there will be singstar and food and that's all I require...And your company of course...which reminds me...you are all invited. (Not the whole internet but this little blogging community we have going).

here is your virtual invitation....


nb: the back of it reads: dress comfy (however you define that), rsvp to 3483111 or smm135@student.canterbury.ac.nz, alcohol free venue and it is the corner of wilsons road and hasting st east.

Well time for some more in depth thought eh.
Shall I do a confession time? why not?

truth is I do not want to go to church at the moment...well its not really that I dont want to go . I dont want to belong to one. I want to have good times with God and to read my bible. I want to hang out with my Christian friends, I want to do some 'Christian things' but I just so don't want to go to church each Sunday. I don't really know why. I feel kind of bad about it.

There is a new girl in my cell group (which I also love) and she is a new Christian. She said a big turning point in her view of Christians was when she read a book and it said Christians DON'T go to church because they have to or to avoid guilt but because they want to. How challenging was that for me at the moment?!

Maybe part of it is that I don't like pressure and I have to speak soon (I have put it off a lot), maybe it is because at some point you have to stop just taking from your church and give something back. Or maybe it is because I crave the anonymity of not belonging to a church. Maybe it's because I miss the old crew but don't feel like God wants me back at the old places (even if I want to sometimes). I am not short of ideas, just conclusions.

I value community, I value aided worship. I know that the best of my worship often takes place within the confines of a church building. I know that being prayed for by friends is a powerful thing. I know that being challenged is a good thing. I know that I don't challenge myself nearly enough.

And it makes me explore what church is...is it a community like some people say?...I have community with my christian friends. Does that give me an out? Or is church more than that? When they met in Acts it does seem like a community but also something more...big things happened. I value church as a community but maybe it is also an aid to connecting with God...it seems that way to me. What is biblical? What is culture? What really is important? Why is church hopping bad if you already have a community? Mentors?

I feel like I know the right answer, that belonging to a church IS important...I just wish I knew why. And I wish I wanted it right now.