For this week's blog, I need some input. In the young adult's class here in Gosford, we are starting a series of discussions on the tough questions non-Christians might ask us. According to Norman Geisler's book, "When Skeptics Ask," we, as Christians, need to realize three things:
1. Non-Christians have good questions.
2. We have good answers.
3. God commands us to answer these questions. (1 Peter 3:15)
So, one of the hardest questions that is asked quite often is, "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?" This is such a tough question and one that I have struggled with at times, too.
One of my favorite scriptures regarding this is Isaiah 57:1-2, which says, "The righteous perish and no one ponders it in his heart; devout men are taken away and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death." I have to thank my old youth minister, Dennis Knight, for showing me that scripture. I think I have it triple underlined in my Bible.
Well, I need your help. What would your response be to the above tough question? I would really appreciate your responses to help with preparations for the young adult's class!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Things have been keeping me pretty busy already! This past Saturday night was Jenny Gray's birthday party up at the ministry centre. The theme was "Texas." Naturally, I couldn't really bring myself to support Texas, so I chose another attire...
(This is Jenny and I at the party.)
Lots of people from the congregation came and everyone tried really hard to dress up like cowboys and cowgirls and make some Texas-themed food...
The party was a lot of fun! Yesterday, (Monday), was a public holiday (Queen's birthday), so everyone had the day off of work and school. The Payne kids, Amber Drew, Jenny and I had planned to get up around 4 am in order to watch Australia play Germany in the World Cup. Unfortunately, none of us actually made it out of bed. But, I think that was a good thing though, since Australia lost 4 to 0. We played lots of games and watched a couple of movies, so overall it was a nice and relaxing day off. Today, it was breakfast with Chris Payne (to go over the coming week) and then up to the ministry center! I Skyped my aunt and uncle this morning (Martha and Steve) and Grandma Rawlins. It was good to talk to them all and catch up. Skype is amazing! Only 2 cents a minute to call a landline in the states! It has sure made it easier to talk to family back in America.
This weekend is the "Deeper" retreat for young adult women. I am really looking forward to it! I know that all of the girls who have been planning it are getting a bit stressed out, but I know that everything will come together and there are some fun things planned. For any SMCers out there, I think I am going to start a "Love Line" as part of an encouragement ministry. We'll put up the "Love Line" on Sunday mornings as a place for people to leave little encouragement notes to people in the congregation. I think it will be a great way to make people feel special! :-)
The weeks are quickly filling up. It's hard to believe that I've been down under for 3 weeks already. Now I'm ready for Joe and Tiffany Buck to get here to work in the church in Campbelltown (about 2 hours away from me.) I know they will love it here as well!
I know that all of you have been concerned about me keeping up with my television shows. Watching online is a plus, except you can't watch any of the shows from American internet sites! Ahhh! Luckily, one of the STAMP students pointed me in the direction of tvshack.com. There I was able to find not just the shows from this season, but of all seasons! Yay! That being said, I have been able to keep up with the shows that I missed the season finales for (Lost, Glee, CSI:NY, Criminal Minds.) :-) So for all of you who were worried, I am all set. Ha!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I have officially been in Australia for 2 and a half weeks. Where does the time go??!! As I've said before, this blog thing is new to me, so I will try to have an update every week or so, if I can. I am borrowing one of the car of one of the STAMP students this week while they are away in New Zealand, so I have been driving around on my own and learning the ropes. Driving on the opposite side of the road has been good, just keep the steering wheel in the center of the road. (I tell myself this over and over while I am driving. Ha.) No major problems yet. I drove out to one of the malls this past Saturday and the GPS decided to take me on the scenic route on the way back. The road was curvy, hilly and had no center lines for me to follow! Ahhh! Luckily, it was daytime or I would've been in real trouble!
This is the first week for me to work out a schedule of what I will be doing while I am here. There are lots of options and I have several ideas as well. The Ministry Centre, where we have our offices, is basically a homebase for us. The church has actually grown larger than what the Ministry Centre can hold, so they rent out the local community center on Sunday mornings for worship, and one of the classrooms on Wednesday nights for the adult class. See below for a picture of me at my desk at the Ministry Centre...
(Yes, that is a calendar of Robert Pattinson in the background.) So far, so good! I am hoping to start an encouragement ministry and I have made contact with the local theater to see if there is a time each week that I can volunteer. There is also a retreat for young adult women coming up in a week or so called "Deeper." I am really looking forward to spending a weekend with some other girls my age. I am giving a devotional while I am there, so if anyone has any great ideas, let me know! Well, I better get back to it! To anyone who reads this -- I hope you have a great day!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The first week and a half in Australia have flown by! It has been a whirlwind, meeting people in the church, camp and even learning to drive on the opposite side of the road! (Note: If you keep the steering wheel in the middle of the road, then you are on the "right" side.) Everyone has been so nice and helpful so far, which has made it easier in the transition. One of my favorite things in Australian culture is "tea time." It is a special time in the morning to stop and get a "cuppa." I have fallen in love with the tea-white with two-which means hot tea with milk and two sugars. If you have never tried hot tea with milk in it, I highly recommend it. Sometimes I have up to 5 cups a day!! So delicious! I have also enjoyed my first Australian sausage. Kent Hartman was so excited for me to try the sausage that he took a pic...
As you can tell, I really enjoyed it. Ha. The picture was taken at Camp Cataract, which is a youth and young adult camp that is put on by the church in Campbelltown (about 2 hours from Gosford.) It was a wonderful camp, but quite overwhelming for my first weekend. So many people to meet! I hope I can remember all of their names! Everyone was so great, and it was an amazing start to my time here in Australia.
The camp theme was "For such a time as this," studying the book of Esther. I really feel that God has placed me in Australia for a purpose and I am excited to see what he has in store for me for such a time as this!