Connecting Christadelphian Young People
The Vine is published quarterly by the Sydney Christadelphian Young People (SCYP). Coordinators Katie Thurlby Tim Mogg Editorial Team Katie Thurlby, Tim Mogg, Chrissy Mogg and Samee Lapham LAYOUT/DESIGN Samee Lapham MASTHEAD DESIGN Alisa Thompson Contributors WRITERS (in order of appearance) - Jake Pogson, Des Mogg, Shelly O’Toole, Martin Russell, Casey Caronna (USA), Sam Collins, Chrissy Mogg, Tim Mogg, Peter Nicholls (NZ), Dani Pogson, Daniel Hardy, Rosie Lawrie, Johanna Dangerfield, Ciaran Colgan, Joel Hillman, Suzie O’Toole, Samee Lapham, Nick Morgan, Jenny Pogson, Phil & Lizzy Pooley PHOTOGRAPHY - Luke Thurlby (p4), Shelly & Sam O’Toole (p3, p14-17) COVER PHOTOGRAPHY - Luke Thurlby The Vine is published to the Glory of our Heavenly Father, through whom all things are made possible. Opinions expressed in The Vine are the authors’ and are not neccessarily held by the Editorial Team or the SCYP. All Bible quotations are from the New International Version (1978) unless otherwise stated. e: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.scyp.net/thevine.php
Solace. Strength that is found from within is solace. It encompasses confidence, understanding and peace. Solomon writes to his son, 'Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure,' Proverbs 4:26 (ESV). Surety and confidence is strength. But often, to find and consider all the many paths available, time is needed. Why do you think time is critical? In 1 Kings 19, Elijah fled Judah into the wilderness after an overwhelmingly successful demonstration of who the real God is. After food and rest, he walked another forty days into a very lonely place. He told God, 'I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away,' 1 Kings 19:10 (ESV). God didn't argue or have a discussion, God responded by demonstrating where the true strength lies – in a still, small and quiet yet confident voice. In this voice God told Elijah to leave that place and go do His will. So Elijah left the mountain, walking another forty days out, renewed with energy. The people he was trying to change hadn't, but over the almost three month period, he had. Moses fled Egypt after slaying an Egyptian in an attempt to help his fellow people. His stepfather Pharaoh wanted his life. After forty years shepherding for his father-in-law Jethro, God caught his attention and told him how his fellow people were suffering and he was to help them. It wasn't his idea of how to help them and didn't even want to at first, finding so many excuses that could hinder the mission he angered God. God answered, 'Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?' Exodus 4:11 (ESV). It wasn’t to be his own eloquent words which would convince the elders of his people or Pharaoh to let his people go, but with God’s assurance of strength Moses would lead his people out to serve God. It was often on mountains and in quiet lonely places that Jesus went to pray, to speak with his Father. Jesus did not find it draining, rather this time was a source of strength. He even spent an entire night praying before the critical decision of choosing his twelve disciples, whom he named apostles (Luke 6:13). On another occasion, ' ..rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed,' after which he said, 'let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out,' Mark 1:35, 38 (ESV). Jesus found a quiet place to think, away from all interference, to reaffirm within himself
the path his feet should follow. That path was always God’s path, where surety and confidence – strength – is found. We too need to take time everyday, if even only for a moment, to consider our path. Let God direct us along His path and we will find His strength within us. We will find solace. A great source of comfort can be found in psalms. Some great examples are Psalm 1, 8, 23, 92 or 139 to number a few. Read them in a quiet place; you will find solace in them. Jake Pogson
or whatever you try to do, someone has already been there or done it before you. Some may find this frustrating, but I have come to realise that in many cases it is a good thing. It is comforting to know that the way has been prepared for you. When I was born I already had a brother and a sister. They showed me how to act as a child. They had already ‘been there and done that’ and they prepared the way for me. We see this in our lives lots of times and we benefit without even knowing it. I used to work as a receptionist and sometimes I could have answered most people’s questions before they had to ask. This was because the way was prepared for them by lots of other callers wanting the same information. Thinking about this has given me more confidence to believe that God does know my questions before I ask them and that He does have the answers. The way has been prepared for me. Sometimes we don’t think this could possibly be true. Sometimes we have to do something for the first time and we feel all alone. We may think, “There is no one out there that knows what this is like. It feels like I am alone. It’s all my responsibility and if I succeed it’s because of me and if I fail it is because of me.” God provided Jesus with someone to go before him to prepare the way. It was a huge blessing to know that there was someone crying out in the wilderness, preparing the way for him. It was John the Baptist; he was out baptizing people.
Mark 1:2-3 says, 'It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way, a voice of one calling in the desert, Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him”''. These verses were written in Malachi 3:1 and Isaiah 40:3 before Jesus was born. Mark 1:4 goes on to say 'And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message, “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”' John was preparing the way for Jesus. How comforting that must have been for Jesus to have someone getting things started for him. How thankful he must have been to see him and have his support. Mark 1:9 'At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven. “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”' How awesome for God to show his love for his son this way and for Jesus to be there with the one who had prepared the way for him. I have always had a picture in my mind of Jesus coming up out of the water and the Spirit in the form of a dove coming down towards him and a voice booming out of heaven declaring
that God was very pleased with his beloved son. I used to picture Jesus standing alone, with a few spectators in the background, but now I have a different image. I see John being there right beside him after he had just plunged him down under the water. It comforts me to know that Jesus had someone very special close beside him when this happened. A person who had prepared the way for him. A person who was expecting him. What has God prepared for you? Thinking about this gives me a new perspective on what I am doing and what is going to happen in the future. I can suddenly see how so much is provided for me already and how I am being provided for in the future as the way is prepared for me. God says he loves me and he has prepared lots of ways for me . Look at John 15:9, how Jesus prepared for his mother when he was on the cross. John 19:26 & 27, 'When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple , “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.”' When I feel alone or unsupported I think about how God does provide. I think about how he provided for his son and about the promises he has made to provide for us. It is comforting and gives me courage to do the things that I find hard. I remember John out in the desert preparing the way. Des Mogg
What does winter mean for me? Rugging up, nice and warm! Spending quality time with friends, using the quiet time to relax and find some solace after a busy summer! Something I love to do is knit. Just sit, and knit. Knitting gives me time to think about things, time to talk to friends, on the phone, in person (if they don’t mind!) or it can be just something to do to keep my hands moving! I’ve been thinking of the different things we all do with our hands; the practical things to help people out, although perhaps not with strands of wool. There are many practical ways to help people out. Many bible characters were practical in the things that they did, and did not just have the ‘be warmed and be filled’ attitude. Think of Dorcas’ hospitality, and Jesus washing his disciples feet. Well? Winter is here! Even living in Newcastle, this is a cold time of year. Because I enjoy knitting so much, I find myself knitting all year round, and in winter, you can find a lot of beanies, scarves, and mittens around my house. By the end, I’ve given plenty away, and of course kept a few for myself. There are plenty of charities, causes and people that can use our help or the warmth of a freshly knitted scarf! Knitting a scarf or a beanie can be a great project and lesson in patience. The finished item can even be of use for someone else who needs it!
‘Wrapped with Love’, ‘Knit one Save one’, ‘Parramatta Mission’, ‘Exodus Foundation’, ‘Care for Street Kids’, and ‘Stewart House’ are all examples of charities who greatly encourage people to knit, crochet or sew items, from new or recycled materials. These items are given to the homeless, those who have experienced chemotherapy treatments and are also sent overseas to refugee camps. It’s amazing where a little knitted or crocheted square can end up! So, if you like the idea of being warm in winter or giving someone else a gift of love and warmth, here’s a little pattern for a scarf. Give it a good go. Look on the web for help or ask someone who knows how to knit, grab some wool and needles, and get knitting! Shelly O'Toole
Using 2 different balls of the same type of wool, make a cool stripy pattern â€“ if you use wool that changes colours throughout the ball, you will get a really cool effect! MATERIALS 6 balls of wool pair of needles (look on the wool ball band to find the right size) BIG sewing needle to sew in the ends METHOD Cast on 40 stitches. Row 1: Work in a 2x2 rib (Knit 2, Purl 2) until you get to the end. Row 2: Work in the 2x2 rib (Knit 2, Purl 2) until you get to the end. After these 2 rows are completed, switch to the other ball of wool, and repeat these 2 rows! Keep on repeating these 2 rows, alternating the balls of wool every 2 rows, to create a thick and warm scarf. When you think you have the right length youâ€™d like, Cast Off. Sew in all ends, and viola! One scarf to help keep someone warm this winter.
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. You hem me inâ€”behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, 'Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me', even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. If only you would slay the wicked, O God! Away from me, you bloodthirsty men! They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name. Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD, and abhor those who rise up against you? I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
The smell of tall Douglas firs and pine trees fill the air, while the freshness of the lake provides the perfect breeze for the twenty young people huddled around the warm blaze of a campfire on a rainy evening in June. The trend is tattered jeans, sneakers, bibles and guitars in hand, and custom-made youth hooded jackets, or ‘jumpers,’ if you will. The environment consists of deep forests, green luscious plants, high hills and even higher mountains, hard terrain, waterfalls, crystal blue lakes, and plenty of rainfall. The climate is temperate and the activities are many. From hiking to climbing, exploring to experiencing, the activities of the youth in this area are influenced by their surroundings, which makes remembering their Creator and the Creator of this Earth an easy thing to do. Organized games include typical Christadelphian youth games such as fruit salad, wink, and eating contests. Unorganized activities include getting lost in the woods and discovering new
and uncharted surrounding lands that may not have been explored since Native Americans roamed this, their native homeland, hundreds of years ago. It is in the quiet moments, however, that you begin to understand who these young people truly are. It happens in the early morning conversations over a cup of coffee while the bacon is still sizzling over the coals or during the flame of the fire when laughter is heard but the joke isn’t quite distinguishable. Or, while laying on a piece of driftwood, under the clear moon sky and bright twinkling stars, discussing with your best friend, what the kingdom will be like. This is a typical image of Christadelphian youth in the Pacific Northwest of North America. Our youth are scripturally focused, laidback in nature, and extremely close as a family unit. Get-togethers for youth members are a rare occasion and cause for great celebration. Ecclesia’s and youth, let
alone youth groups, are not generally geographically near one another. A handful of individuals will travel hundreds of miles by car, bus, or ferry in order to share this unique experience once or twice a year. It is rarely spoken about but often understood, that these are their true friends, these are the people with whom they share a common bond and truth. These are the people who, like themselves, are remembering their Creator in the days of their youth (Eccl. 12:1). Christadelphian Youth of the Pacific Northwest is a lot like your own youth group. We share the same fears and dislikes; we have 'crushes' and are drawn emotionally one to another. We recognize the power of God in our lives, the unique bond shared in knowing the Truth, believing in the Hope, and sharing together in the Love. Casey K. Caronna (Olympia Ecclesia & Pacific Northwest Christadelphian Youth Circle, USA) Find him on FB for more info about visiting Pacific Northwest USA!
It’s sometimes a struggle to get my head around why God sent Jesus. I still do struggle a little, but after the last SCYP Easter Camp, I now feel that I have a better understanding, and have been able to get my head around a few things. Easter camp was themed ‘Knowing you, Jesus’, with Richard Hillhouse leading the talks. I came home from Easter camp feeling refreshed and renewed and with a few new ideas in my mind. I’d like to share some of the things I got out of Easter Camp with you all. The first thing we need to understand and acknowledge is that God wants a relationship with us. In fact, this is one of the first things in the bible that he wanted us to understand. 'Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”' Genesis 3:8-9 Adam and Eve were used to God being around all the time. God could have chosen to create and forget about Adam and Eve, but instead, He chose to have a relationship with them.
In Revelation 21:3-4, we see the same picture that has been painted for us in Genesis. 'And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”' God is a loving God who cares for His children, just as any parent would. Between Genesis and Revelation, nothing has changed in the way God wants to know us. Nothing has changed between the time Revelation was written and now. It’s also important to acknowledge that God and Jesus can’t change. They are and always will be perfect. If our relationship with them isn’t perfect, it is our fault. So, God loves us, and He wants a relationship with us. What about Jesus? What was God’s purpose for sending him? We all know and understand that Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life. If we could choose anyone to be like and imitate, Jesus is our first choice. Jesus’ example gives us insight into
God’s character. God sent Jesus to make it easier for us to have a relationship with Him. 'Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”' John 14:6-7 If we know Jesus well enough, it can enable us to become closer to God and have a better relationship with Him. To know God we need to have a relationship with Jesus. John 17:1-5 expands on this idea. 'After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.' These verses were just before Jesus was crucified. In verse 4, Jesus says
that he has finished the work that God has given him to do. For so many years, I had thought that the only reason Jesus was sent to die so that my sins could be forgiven. Yet, here is Jesus before his death, saying that his work is now complete. I now believe that one of the main reasons God sent Jesus was to reveal Himself to us, and to enable us to grow closer to Him. A lot of you may feel differently, but I find it hard to relate to a God who is far beyond what I can comprehend. God isn’t human and he has unlimited power. I find it much easier to relate to His son Jesus. Jesus was human, he dealt with temptation, he was faced with many of the same choices and decisions that we all have to deal with, and he was laughed at and mocked for doing his Father’s will – just like all of us have to go through at some stage in our lives. What gives me strength and encouragement is knowing that Jesus managed to live his life perfectly. We can all relate to Jesus because he has been through the same things as us. He knows how it feels, and he can give us strength.
If we really want to be a part of God’s Kingdom, it’s very important that we know Jesus, and that he knows us. We can see this in Matthew 7:21-23: 'Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord,“ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?“ Then I will tell them plainly, “I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!“’ A relationship with Jesus will always lead to a Godly attitude, behaviour and lifestyle. However, having the ‘correct’ attitude, behaviour and lifestyle does not necessarily lead to a relationship with Jesus – this is a trap that I have fallen into in the past.
Knowing Jesus is more than just trying to imitate him. We need a desire to know him, to want to be his friend, and to love him. You can’t live with just a Godly lifestyle to convince yourself and others that you have a relationship with Jesus. 'Come near to God and he will come near to you,' James 1:8. I love this verse. It’s so simple, and so true. How many half hearted attempts have you had at trying to get closer to God? How many times have you felt like He is so far away and beyond reach? God is always with us – if we truly want to get closer to Him and focus, He will come near to us. As we read earlier in Genesis and Revelation, this is what God wants – it’s His desire to have a relationship with us. This is why He has given us Jesus. To sum up how God wants us to live our lives, and why God sent Jesus, it’s simple. There are 3 things, and they happen in this order:
Sam Collins, SCYP Secretary
Have you ever noticed that there are lots of words that we use all the time but no one knows their proper definition? There are so many words that we have learnt by the context in which weâ€™ve heard them, and the experiences and associations we attach to them. The problem is we can often end up thinking we know what a word means, but get it really wrong. One word that I realised I had been wrong about is the word â€˜solaceâ€™. The Vine asked me to explore the term solace, and make it meaningful this winter. After contemplating my preconceptions, and then actually looking in a dictionary, I have redefined what Solace means to me.
My original self-produced definition of solace was this: to be quiet, lonely, and wistful. Perhaps the reason I associated ‘solace’ with aloneness was because of its seeming relation to the word ‘solitude’. Aloneness for me has never been a pleasant concept, nor has being quiet, so naturally I added to my definition of solace a component of sadness. Unlike most people, I spend most of my days alone. I attend uni and work casually, but I am left with much of the day spent by myself. Some people envy this and are desperate for even a small period of alone time in their week. It’s probably because being alone is a constant in my life, rather than being a precious commodity that I don’t value it. I thought that solace meant being alone, being quiet, and pretty much feeling like you’re in a library. Nothing to my mind could be more stifling and pointless – after all, what’s life without people in it? Who are we and what can we achieve if there is noone to witness our life and to give the things we do any meaning? My husband pointed out that I was very intolerant of other people’s need for alone time, so I decided I’d check out what the bible has to say about being alone. What I found changed my perspective entirely. One of the verses I looked at was Matthew 14:23 (NKJV) 'And when he had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.' Jesus sought time away from his disciples to pray. He sought time alone to be with God. The idea of being ‘alone with God’ showed me that I never have to feel entirely alone again. Thinking about it this way makes time spent away from friends and family time when I am one on one with my Creator. This perspective made me realise just how important ‘alone-time’ or what my previous idea of ‘solace’ can be. I should transform my alone time into productive time.
So; this process of thought was influencing my misconception of alone time, and prompting me that perhaps my definition of solace was not quite accurate. So, I decided to pay a visit to dictionary.com to get to the bottom of this word. Solace, a noun, means ‘comfort in sorrow, misfortune, or trouble; the alleviation of distress or discomfort’. I can see where I got the idea of sadness from, but I was definitely looking at it the wrong way. Solace is about feeling comforted in the face of troubles, and more importantly, consoling and relieving the distress of others. This means there’s an element to solace that involves company. Thinking of where I’d read about solace in the bible I realised that the example of Jesus praying in the garden was perfect; he was sorrowful and distressed about what was about to happen, and he turned to God for comfort and for consolation; for solace. This winter we have the opportunity to do the same. We are so connected by virtual strings, constant updates of facebook statuses, sms’s and emails. Seemingly we are never alone and always reachable. In a way, however, the superficial nature of these virtual relationships can make us feel even more distant from each others’ company and emotions. Have we become disconnected and disengaged from our friends? When do we really talk about how we’re feeling? When do we let our friends know that we’re distressed, and seek solace with them? When do we, like Jesus, pray to God when we are distressed, and seek comfort in his love and peace? Winter is prime time for feeling cold and sorrowful. So take the opportunity to seek the warmth of solace in the love of your friends and family and to give it to them. Most importantly, this winter, seek solace in the loving and consoling hand of God. Chrissy Mogg
The apostle Paul is writing to the Corinthian Ecclesia, he says,” What I am about to say is not praise, because you are coming together and achieving a negative result! Bickering and fighting has divided you. At the moment you are not eating the Lord’s feast. At the moment you are getting drunk, while some of your brothers starve! WHY!! You are acting as though you despise God and His Church. Jesus instituted this feast. It was simple. He said, “Eat this bread. It is symbolic of my body, and what has been done for you. Remember me.” “Take this wine as well. It is a symbol of my blood, of the new agreement. Use it to remember me.” Paul says, “This feast is about sharing Christs’ death and at the same time it acknowledges that he will be back. So when you eat this feast, take it seriously. It is important, so do it properly. Unless you are focussed and mindful of Jesus you are eating and drinking judgement on yourself.”
This feast is so important, because we are human. And we need to recognise that we are not perfect, and that we need to continually look to Jesus and check that our lives are truly being modelled on His. What did Jesus do for you? When you think about that question, what image do you see in your head? Is it him bleeding on the cross? Or was it something totally different? Is it him in the streets of Jerusalem helaing the sick, or welcoming the children? Or do you have an image of Jesus, right now at the right hand of God? Examine yourself and think of what Jesus did, and what impact he has on your life. Jesus gave us his life, as well as his death.
How would your life be different if Jesus was not a part of it? Would it be unrecognisably different, or not different at all? Jesus is challenging. That is why he instituted a feast where we have the symbol of a broken body and blood on a table every week. But will his life continue to change yours? Challenge yourself to answer the questions in this article honestly for yourself. Next time you see the bread and the wine being passed around make it as special and take it as seriously as Paul challenged the Corinthians to. Tim Mogg
The headline on Facebook says it all: You've been Crowderised! And if you haven't yet, grab yourself a copy of the album, be uplifted by the music and join in the fun. If you were to review this album as any other, you may just class it as “Christian rave” music, with heavy bass and drumming influences. But, as a Christian album, this is transformational. Their style is what our worship should always be, amped to the max! The album itself is a 17-track, 73-minute epic, which is long and during some tracks it does feel a little bloated. However, there are plenty of awesome songs and with “Church Music” as the title of the album, The Dave Crowder Band have produced a real pull-your-socks-up, be-pumped-and-be-joyful sound that will leave you inspired and upbeat about God, the hope we have and life in general. Looking at the album as a whole, the overall sound is BIG! Virtually every song in the compilation has some form of synth, bass or electronic beat included, resulting in some songs sounding a bit the same. Crowder has a great voice though and on a number of tracks this really shines through. It's strong, but also has a raspy, rough texture to it, adding a layer of desperation and need to some of the lyrics, drawing the listener more into the song itself and increasing the emotive power.
Phos Hilarion is a two minute introductory track and is the first sign of the heavier synth and bass in this album compared to previous put out by the band. The lyrics themselves come from an ancient Christian hymn dating from around 400 A.D. so the album starts with a return to the classics! The sound and mood of the track signifies a call to worship, an invitation to share in the praise to our God. The first proper song on the album is called Alleluia Sing, and it's a great start to the album. Arpeggio piano chords run throughout and combined with Crowder's vocals and booming chorus, this is a real anthemic piece. The Nearness is next, a decent piece but nothing really special. It's track four where the album hits a real high with Shadows. This is stunning and emotively weighted (perfect for dark times, when struggling or dealing with troubles) and is this reviewer's favourite song. It understands your difficulty, but directs your mind to the hope and support Jesus gives, with the chorus line, “when shadows fall on us, we will not fear, we will remember...we’re resting in the shadow of the cross.” The bass is perhaps most strong in this track but never overpowers it, and with this in the lead, the support cast of guitar, simple drums and synth, this play is perfect for a loud speaker stage near you! Look out for the climax to the final singing of the chorus, which is a real
highpoint of the album. It elevates higher and higher to the top of a mountain, before flying over the edge and down into an exhilarating concluding stanza. Easter Hymn follows on (it’s okay, but at six minutes is too long) and then we’re into SMS (Shine), another slower anthem that has a similar sound to Alleluia Sing. The lyrics reflect a need to be close to God, to feel his love. “Shine your light so I can see you, Pull me up I need to be near you. Hold me I need to feel love. Can you overcome this heart that's overcome?” At this stage, you might start to feel the band has run out of ideas, but the next two tracks represent a big change-up to faster, floor filler sounds. The synthesizer has a sweet motif in The Veil, with the lyrics reflecting our thanks for Jesus’ death, “Hallelujah we rejoice, what a Saviour, what a King.” The band follows this with another bass pounding track, We Are Loved. At nearly five minutes long, this song can sound repetitive but it has huge energy and a killer bridge before the ending chorus. Music is a huge part of our spirituality and relationship with God, seen in as early as Exodus 15; 'Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the LORD…' The way humans can sometimes best glorify God and explain to him our feelings is through music. The band Tree63, through their self-titled album, have aimed to do this. They connect with God on an emotional level, in a way that they know best; music.
All Around Me and How He Loves are both covers, and reflect a softer, more sensitive sound than the heavier tracks before. How He Loves, about God’s amazing love to all of us, is particularly worth mentioning for the aching vocals and the soaring guitar sound. There’s a real feeling to the track, and represents another shining light of the album. In addition, for those who don’t like the heavier stuff as much, this is a great song for you. As mentioned earlier, this album can feel fat, and tracks 11 through 14 contribute most of the dead weight. Sure, they’re decent enough songs and “Church Music-Dance!” is incredibly bouncy, but you sense that they don’t add much of value to the album as a whole. The album concludes with two six minute plus tracks, drawing the album out even longer still, but before then is perhaps the happiest song ever written, Oh Happiness. The synthesizer starts with a really catchy tune (which some may find incredibly annoying!) and it just bounces along from there. The words and message are simple (“Oh Happiness, there’s grace enough for us and the whole human race”) making this track perfect for sing-along’s. Above the other tracks, if you want a smile on your dial, check this one out!
I have recently re-discovered Christian Rock band Tree63 and have decided the album is an oldie but deﬁnitely a goodie! The band name combines the numerous Biblical references to trees with Psalm 63. This combination is seen throughout the album which focuses on Jesus’ sacriﬁce and how we owe our lives only to God. The lyrics are driven particularly from this psalm; “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” The third song on the album, Look What You’ve Done, in particular aims to focus on how asking God to grant our small, insigniﬁcant wishes should not be the main priority but rather how we can worship and serve Him better. In contrast, the lyrics of Sacriﬁce aim to evoke raw emotions in describing Jesus’ cruciﬁxion. This song is an attempt to enable us to feel on our humanly level what Jesus’ suffering might possibly have felt like; “You know what it's like against Your skin, You know how it feels beneath Your hands, You know how it is to carry so rough and heavy, And underneath to cry.”
“Church Music” is a great album, with beautiful ballads and techno sounds too. It’s inspiring to see so many diverse and awesome ways of worshipping God. My challenge to you then is: join the bearded wonders and get Crowderised today!
This album urges us to realise how great God’s gift to us is, to realise every breath belongs to Him and what Jesus’ ultimate sacriﬁce means for us. I am so glad I have rediscovered this album, the combination of soft rock verses, passionate chorus’ and the conviction of the lyrics have been a rediscovery of how easy and selﬁsh it is to take our great gift of life for granted and a reminder of God’s eternal companionship with us. “I am always in Your heart, Hallelujah!”
Peter Nicholls (Wellington, NZ)
It continues to change lives. The hands of the givers are richly blessed, and the hunger of the homeless is abated for a time. God moves whilst we witness. And it all begins with a sandwich. 'Sandwiches in the City' continues to connect young people to the homeless in Sydney’s CBD through the simple act of offering the homeless a bite to eat and an ear to hear their story. And what stories these people have, and how willing they are to share them!
Matt sat on one of the corners of George St, dressed in dirty clothes and holding a cardboard sign with a message - “I am homeless. Not a lie. Not a trick. Just need help. God bless you.” And so a couple of us stooped down to give a sandwich and a freddo to this man; finding that he’d just been released from prison and had nowhere to go. And as we sat with this man amidst the busy pedestrian traffic, strangers began to notice what we were doing and also stopped to throw a few coins into Matt’s hat. ‘God bless you,’ he’d written, and ‘God bless you,’ he said to us.
Joshua is one of those guys who wipes your windscreen in the hope of gaining a few coins, and he’s perfected his skill to the very last second before the lights change. He wipes many windscreens for nothing most of the time. He was so excited when we told him who we were Christian young people handing out sandwiches and Freddos in Jesus’ name! “You kids are doing a great thing!” he all but yelled. “You know, there are four types of species in the world.” He smiled. We returned his expression, though our smiles were because we were bemused and confused. “There are man species, woman species, human species,” he counted on his fingers, “and Bestomen species.” We became even more confused. “Bestomen species?” I hesitantly queried, wondering if the next thing he said would render me even more puzzled. “Yep. You folks are Bestomen species. You’re doing what God wants. See, you’re the ‘Best-of-men’ - Bestomen species!” He delivered his punch line triumphantly. We all laughed; and funnily enough he was dead serious. But I’m glad he thought us to be part of the Bestomen species. He wished us well as we went on our way.
Henry is an interesting guy. One of the more exuberant street-residents of Woolloomooloo, he asked us to call him “Cookie” or “Biscuit”. He loved to joke with us - not that we understood the full scope of his humour - but we found ourselves laughing with this strange, part-Aboriginal man. He insisted that we take his photo, a picture of him with me. After having taken it, he made me promise to give him a copy next time we met. I didn’t know what the chances of us getting together again were, but I told him I’d try. So the next time the Sandwiches in the City crew hit the streets, I had the picture in my bag. And the time after that. But still I hadn’t met Cookie. Until finally, 3 months later, just before heading back to Burwood on the train, I found Cookie sitting amongst his friends. I didn’t have any sandwiches left, or any chocolates to give. But I gave him the photo in my bag, and he accepted it with a stunned expression that soon turned to laughter and a hug. He looked down at himself (he was shirtless in the picture) and exclaimed, “Man, I look good.” He said he knew a guy who would frame it for him. Haha. He was so happy. I think he even mentioned that he thought Jake Pooley should marry his daughter!
and as we gave them sandwiches - one for now, one for later! - one of us offered them a freddo as well. One of the men took the freddo gratefully, and looked at it for a while. Then with a soft smile he raised his head and said, “You know, I haven’t eaten a freddo since the 1980s.” So we gave him another one.
Come and join us as we meet with the kind of people others normally ignore. Let’s see where God takes us as we build friendships in the strangest of places. The first Saturday of every month (SCYP Saturday), meet at Shaftes @ 12:30pm. It all begins with a sandwich. Nick Morgan, SCYP Preaching
Feeling like we can make a difference in this world can seem hard sometimes. We live in such an aﬄuent country that need isn’t always apparent as we go about our daily lives. Trips to Third World areas such as Africa and South-East Asia fill us with enthusiasm for meeting the basic needs while we are away, but coming back home can leave us lost for what to do to help here in our own community. Most people have access to food, water and shelter here in Australia, but many suffer from what is becoming a major issue as the population ages – loneliness. Friendship and socialisation is just above food, water and shelter as a basic need all humans require to have a good quality of life. But a significant proportion of people in nursing homes and aged care facilities have no family and no friends nearby to visit them. Imagine living for years without someone to spend time with and talk to about what’s happening in your life. Imagine having no one visit you on birthdays or Christmas! Most people are in a nursing home because they have trouble walking and completing daily tasks, so leaving the nursing home can be rare. Unable to leave, they rely on people coming to see them! Christadelphian Aged Care now has five facilities for elderly people including Southhaven and Casa Mia at Padstow, Ashburn House at Gladesville, Chamberlain Gardens in Wyoming near Gosford, and Lakefront Village in Toukley. The homes love all the help they can get, and have trained volunteer coordinators to show you the ropes. The impact you can have on the lives of elderly people is enormous. Knowing someone is coming to visit gives them something to look forward to and think about. There are 30
many ways to help improve the lives of those in nursing homes, and you don’t need any special skills to do it! Just talking and listening to them is the main way you can brighten their day. Many people have lived amazing lives and would love to tell you their story, and listen to yours as well. You can help them write letters, read them the Bible or another book, play board games or cards, or even teach them how to use a computer! Other ways to help include:
school. This pays for all your uni fees for the whole duration of the course. The homes offer you work experience at their facilities during holidays but you are not bound to work in aged care when you finish. So if you are interested in making a real difference in the lives of others, simply visiting a nursing home once a week, once a fortnight or even once a month, is an amazing way to let God work through you to bring comfort to those in need.
• Putting on concert by playing the piano or other musical instrument • Doing scrapbooking or other craft activities with a group or one on one • Running a bingo session or another game • Playing the Wii together (lots of nursing homes have these now!) • Making gift baskets for some residents (maybe as an SCYP activity!) • Helping run the cafe at Ashburn House by serving, making coffee and light meals • Helping with fetes and fairs
If you are interested in volunteering at one of Christadelphian Aged Care’s facilities, please contact the following friendly Co-ordinators:
Christadelphian Aged Care also offers paid positions including working as a receptionist during the school holidays, as a kitchenhand or serving dinner, tea and coffee in the evenings.
Central Coast Liz McKay email@example.com 0425 303 916
The homes also offer a fully paid scholarship for anyone interested in studying nursing when they leave
Gladesville Johanne Bradley firstname.lastname@example.org 0424 274 296 Padstow Bev McGuigan email@example.com 0421 258 009
On behalf of Christadelphian Aged Care, Jenny Pogson
BAPTISMS Martin Russell (Lakemba)
BIRTHS Charlie Zane Stewart (Heather & Mark) Yasmine Abigail Williams (Michelle & Tim) Clyde James Thompson (Alisa & James) Eden Grace Errington (Beth & Andy, QLD) Willow Piper Hatherly (Julz & Alex)
A play of epic proportions! A story of triumph and failure, deception and corruption, love and despair. From strength to weakness, weakness to strength. Through our weakness, you bring strength - 1 Cor 4:10 Keep September 4 free for an inspirational night. Entry: $5, special rates for families All ages welcome! Bring your friends & family!