Monthly Update May 2012
WHAT’S THE BEST ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?
A favourite question of TV presenters when interviewing celebrities is: “What is the best advice you have ever been given?” The answers vary. Sometimes they relate to business or career paths. Often they will relate to the person’s inner thoughts or their relations to other people. Sometimes they are merely clever clichés.
What is the best advice you have ever been given? Feel free to share with me if you have the time and inclination. I love learning from others.
The best advice I have ever been given (the same many times over) is: “Jono, you have to do what God wants you to do.”
We often seek advice when big life decisions are before us. And this advice is the best advice in my view (even for you if you swap the name Jono with your name). Of course it is not very prescriptive or specific. But if we have a solid foundation of what is most important, then the next layers of our decision making processes will not topple.
I leave for Ukraine on June 4th. That is not very far away. Please pray for the time I will have there and the interactions with many friends. My time there is partially intentional and partially ‘wait and see’. I know that sounds rather vague.
• I will reconnect with many friends from the 6+ years I was there.
• I will sort out a few maintenance issues with my house.
• I will have a number of questions to think through in regards to UTSIM and the future of the business.
• I will be praying about and talking to friends about what my future role in Ukraine may or may not be.
I guess the vagaries underline how much I would value your prayers in seeking God’s future direction. I am also planning another couple weeks in Tajikistan, God willing.
Please also continue to pray for Vlad. His appeal date is later this month. I will give more details as they come to hand.
LIVING DOWN UNDER
I have just arrived back in Sydney after nearly 8 weeks of living out of a suitcase. The last two weeks was a really special father-son road trip around a part of south east Queensland. We started and finished at my brother Tim’s place and did 4099 kms in 12 days. It was great to spend time with my dad. We had lots of long conversations, enjoyed seeing new and interesting things as well as catching up with some friends. A few highlights include: seeing crocodiles in the wild, emus, cotton, walking the length of Texas (twice), four wheel driving in my two wheel drive car, bumping into my second cousin on a YWAM boat, going back to Emu Park after 10 years, Rocky home schoolers reunion, beautiful sunsets, and our daily muffin breaks. I think I am suffering muffin withdrawal now.
Thanks Dad, and thanks Mum for living out a couple of weeks on your own.
I’ll get just a few Saturdays at rugby before I take off again. I wrote the following a couple months back and am interested to know if anyone would have any comments about being a Christian in a sports team or similar.
There are a few Christians at Beecroft and a few who have been brought up around Christianity. Many blokes in the rugby culture live and portray a lifestyle that is not Christian. I want to challenge Christians to:
• first of all play rugby – join a club (or whatever your passion or hobby is)
• make real friends
• hang about, show that you are willing to stand alongside and spend time with people
• support each other
• don’t be ashamed of why you are different in areas relating to drunkenness or debauchery
I’m willing to hear from others for ideas. How do we allow our salt and light to be strong AND present at the same time?
I’ll be back at Kids Club again today and am looking forward to it. I guess after today I can say more about how it’s going. So instead I have a challenge for you. What are you doing where you live? God sends us into the entire world. I have a passion for Christians to go where there are fewer or no Christians, but not only that. You should be looking wherever you live to share Jesus. As you rub shoulders (spontaneous) but also through organised groups, outreaches, programs etc. (intentional). So what are you doing in your local community? Share with me to encourage me and so I can pray for you. And please remember to pray for Kids Club.
WHAT YA READIN’?
I’m still reading BONHOEFFER – Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. I have to admit that I have been distracted from reading of late. I WILL finish it before the next monthly update!
I did however also read a short story I downloaded to my tablet. I think it was free. So if you have the capability look up Where Love Is, There God Is Also, by Leo Tolstoy. It is only 17 pages long and well worth reading.
PRAYER AND PRAISE
· Thank God for good advice
· A meaningful time in Ukraine
· Vlad’s appeal this month
· Beecroft Rugby
· Kids Club
· Casual work this month
Dan and Nat Braga for a great conversation on Sunday night.