brain farts

New things

It’s Autumn here in Australia. That means the end of the year is fast approaching! But before we get there, we have term 4 to get through – we have the last quarter of the year to venture into and see what it holds.

For those of you who have been reading my pieces for the last little while, you’ll know that I am super close to completing a TESOL Grad. Dip – and I mean SUPER close! I literally have one paper to write and submit and I am DONE! (Providing I pass everything – graduation looms in April next year) I got through an amazing placement, handed in multiple lesson plans and reflections and slogged my way through book reviews and bibliographies to get to this point. So in this last part of 2014, I have some new adventures on my plate – things a little more out of the comfort zone than what I’m used to.

new things

From now unti Christmas, there are a few things coming up that are totally new for me – and I am freaking out just a little bit! I have been given the chance to take on some substitute teaching through the college where I did my placement!! What a crazy-amazing honour! I was truly touched and felt so blessed to be given this chance – it also felt really lovely to be acknowledged as a promising educator in my field of study! So, day after tomorrow – I tackle my FIRST EVER CLASS on my own! Eeep! Nervous is an understatement!

Also this term, I’ve been given the privilege of speaking at one of our Friday night youth gatherings!! Our series this term is ‘Core Strength’ – focusing on developing and maintaining our spiritual disciplines…and I’m speaking on Silence and Solitude, something I truly believe is important for everyone to put into practice, even if you’re an extrovert! So I’m nervous about that too – I’ve never spoken in front of a big group of people before – let alone for a specific amount of time and to teenagers! 😀

So I think as 2014 slowly dims down and 2015 creeps into the limelight with each new day, fresh adventures are a good thing. It’s good for me to try my hand at new and different things, even if they scare the heebie jeebies out of me! God is streching me, developing my skills and honing my passions with each step and while He never promised to give us only what we can handle, He did promise to give us the right tools and equip us in the right way for what lies ahead.

What new things are you experiencing?

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brain farts

Lose the net

Once when he was standing on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, the crowd was pushing in on him to better hear the Word of God. He noticed two boats tied up. The fishermen had just left them and were out scrubbing their nets. He climbed into the boat that was Simon’s and asked him to put out a little from the shore. Sitting there, using the boat for a pulpit, he taught the crowd.

When he finished teaching, he said to Simon, “Push out into deep water and let your nets out for a catch.” Simon said, “Master, we’ve been fishing hard all night and haven’t caught even a minnow. But if you say so, I’ll let out the nets.” It was no sooner said than done—a huge haul of fish, straining the nets past capacity. They waved to their partners in the other boat to come help them. They filled both boats, nearly swamping them with the catch.

Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon.

Simon Peter, when he saw it, fell to his knees before Jesus. “Master, leave. I’m a sinner and can’t handle this holiness. Leave me to myself.” When they pulled in that catch of fish, awe overwhelmed Simon and everyone with him. It was the same with James and John, Zebedee’s sons, coworkers with Simon. Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him. Jesus said to Simon, “There is nothing to fear. From now on you’ll be fishing for men and women.” They pulled their boats up on the beach, left them, nets and all, and followed him. (‭Luke‬ ‭5‬:‭1-11‬ MSG)

Nets were livelihoods in Jesus’ time. Fishermen spent hours and days out at sea, dropping nets and hauling in fish of all shapes and sizes. Nets were crafted for a specific purpose; for specific hands to use. Nets represented as much about a man as they did about their use in the ocean. They helped to form the image of the person using them – they defined their owner.

So when Jesus came and told the men to ditch their images – toss their nets away and leave behind everything they knew and everything that made them ‘them’ – it was a big deal.

What’s my ‘net’? What is it in life that I have created my identity around? What is it that I rely on, know back-to-front, inside out and could do with my eyes closed? What is it that would be a struggle for me to let go of to follow Jesus 100%…? What might be holding me back?

I’d never really considered this idea too deeply before last week. It was my pleasure to work behind the scenes of a Verge camp here in SA…the pilot camp to be exact! Very exciting! Verge is an initiative of Access the Story and covers the story of God from the beginning of creation to restoration of mankind and their Creator in 7 episodes across 6 days. This segment on nets and leaving behind all that we use to define ourselves was a part of the camp, and something I’d never really put too much thought into. I’d considered what might hold me back from full communion with God, but not what I was good at, what my livelihood was…

Some serious food for thought. Am I using my image – my identity, my skills, my livelihood – to hide behind? Am I using them as excuses for fully embracing the plan God has for my life?

Are you…?

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