November JAM 2014

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

One of my favourite children’s authors is Dr Seuss and one of my favourite books is “Oh The Places You’ll Go!” Here is an excerpt:

The Waiting Place...
...for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

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October JAM 2014

COMMUNICATING LOVE

"The greatest of these is love." But how do you communicate love? How do you receive love? Lately I have been a part of many varied conversations revolving around the 5 love languages. We each impart and accept love in different ways with varying levels of intensity. It is helpful to understand this. I have been challenged to try to go beyond merely understanding this and to consciously consider how I can show love to my friends. Do I go beyond what comes easily and naturally for me and engage my friends in a love which they comprehend?

This month's challenge: pick someone in your inner circle of friends, examine how they best receive love and then go out of your way to display love to them accordingly.

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September JAM 2014

CONSISTENT ADVICE

Recently I have had cause to reflect upon many shared experiences but also wise words from a friend and mentor of mine. Thankfully my “Aussie Dad”, John Gollan, is still with us and slowly recovering from a major stroke a number of weeks ago. When I first came to Australia (in 1993) I spent many hours at the Gollans place before finally moving in and living there. I was young and headstrong and yet desired to know what God’s will for my life would be. Then, and many a time over the years since, I have hashed out conversations pertaining to the direction of my life. Each time the bottom line, the final word, would be the same: “Jono, you have to do what God wants you to do.” And that, my friends, is that!

MARIE’S CORNER

Nothing different from last month.

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August JAM 2014

“HOW TO STAY DELIRIOUSLY HAPPILY MARRIED FOR TWELVE MONTHS”

Recently Marie and I have joked that we should write a book with the above title. Whilst in the States we celebrated our one year anniversary. I have to say that we are both loving this thing called marriage. So we are now old pros and know all there is to know about love – kidding. But I would like to share a few of the blessings I have gleaned.

• Love refines you. As you allow yourself to love and be loved, it necessitates the rising of dross to the surface. Then as you choose love for the other (instead of self) the purging process begins.

• Love halves sorrows but doubles joys. When you have a bad day or a gripe, there is someone there to say “everything’s gonna be alright”. When you have reason to celebrate or just see a beautiful sunset – there is someone to share it with.

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June JAM 2014

Known First By God!

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!” (Psalm 139)

This is a wonderful description of what is taking place in Marie right now! Yes, we are pregnant. Thanks be to God!

Marie’s Corner

I read an article recently about first time parents. It talked about how these newbies read through baby books together and go to doctor’s appointments together and generally dream about what life will be like when their baby finally arrives. This seems like a pretty apt description of us at the moment!

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May JAM 2014

Pull Out Some More Adjectives!!

This month my class, along with all grade three students across Australia, will sit NAPLAN tests. If you don’t know what I am talking about, consider yourself blessed. One of the tests focuses on writing. We are trying to help the students improve their writing with adjectives. When was the last time you read something and were transported into another realm, not because of the plot or the philosophy, but purely because of the choice of words? Words are powerful. They move us, inspire us, challenge us, motivate us, captivate us, arrest us, embolden us and empower us – and then there are times when the dictionary and the thesaurus combined do not contain enough or the right words to describe how we feel.

Last week I was reading Psalm 145 and realized David is pulling out every descriptor possible to show off his God; to exalt, praise and glorify his God.

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April JAM 2014

ANYONE FEELING TIRED?

If you were a fly on any staffroom wall towards the end of a busy term you would probably hear the word “tired” over and over. But not just in schools. People are tired at work. People are tired at home. People are tired in their pursuits. People are tired in relationships. People are tired serving others. What is the antidote to tiredness? REST! You need rest. We all need more rest. Psalm 62:1 says, “I find rest in God; only he can save me.” Do you need rest? Find it in God. He saves, he gives hope, he is your rock, your defender and your protection. So trust him and tell him all your problems for he is strong and loving (taken from Psalm 62).

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