Friday, 30 September 2011



The shadows deepen, and the night draws on. This is a special sunset though. Because this sunset brings in the Sabbath.

As I recline in the glow of lighted candles (My favorite way to open Sabbath), I realize a sense of loneliness. This is the first time I have had to open Sabbath on my own. The first time in my life.

And hopefully the last. In just over two weeks I will be married, and I hope that I will never have to spend a Sabbath away from my closest earthly companion. Even now, it feels like a part of me is missing.

As the night darkens outside, I thrill with appreciation for what God gave to man in the garden of Eden. Or is that, what He made possible for man to give back to Him? Because Sabbath is God's gift to us, but it is also our gift back to Him. That one special day each week, when angels in heaven and men on earth can be synchronized and united in a day of worship and praise to the Lord. That one day when we can put away earthly cares, worries, problems, and work, and just rest in the Father's love.

Special? I should say it is.

So don't be late. You have an appointment with God Himself.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Three weeks

In three weeks time exactly, it will be the morning of my wedding, and I will have a severe case of nerves...

I know I will feel excited, nervous, anxious, and yet strangely calm.

Because there won't be any doubts. It seems the most natural thing in the world to be getting married, even though two years ago marriage never entered my mind. Strange how much can happen in so short a time.

And it's strange how variable time can seem to be. Sometimes it seems to crawl along so slowly that it's almost stopped, and yet at other times it disappears like a handful of sand running through your fingers. It was Albert Einstein who explained it like this. "When you sit with a girl you like for two hours, it seems like two minutes. But if you were to touch a hot stove for two minutes, it would seem like two hours. That's relativity." And that describes the last year and a half precisely :)

But I think my mum explained it best when she texted me 9 weeks ago, and explained to me that it was twelve weeks to my wedding, and that one week is really nothing at all, and so twelve times nothing is still nothing :D....

And the last nine weeks have really seemed to vanish like some much sand pouring away....

Three weeks.... Just 24 days. 576 hours. 34560 minutes. Nothing at all really.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Long and short

Strange how long and yet how short time can be.

A year and six months ago, life was very different. I was a bachelor, living in QLD, life was very routine, and getting married was certainly not on my mind at all!

Now, four weeks before the wedding, I sit here in a temporary room, my things in boxes around the room, in a house without electricity except what runs off car batteries, in the middle of nowhere in New South Wales, on the property owned by Cherith's parents.

In the last year I have started courting Cherith, moved interstate, been unemployed for 2 months trying to find work, moved again for work, driven 40,000kms in my car, (Usually I would do less than 15,000kms in a whole year), gotten engaged, and that's only the start of it. Life has been quite topsy turvy sometimes.

There's only one problem with that.... I like routines.

Well, I like change too, but just not too much of it at once. But it seems like so much has been changing in such a short time in my life that it's disconcerting sometimes.

And in just four weeks, I am to be a married man. I guess there are many more changes to come too! :)

But when I look back over the last 14 months or so, it seems like both a very long time, and a very short time. It seems like Cherith and I have been talking together forever, and that getting married to each other is the most natural thing to do. Then it seems like a short time, and that we are only just starting to get to know each other. Then again, I guess we have the rest of our lives to learn about each other, so I'm not about to graduate from that school anytime soon, even if we do understand each other quite well already.

And I love Cherith. But there's one thing to remember. Love is not just a feeling. It is an act of your will. Some days it is not easy to show that love. But by the grace of God, I will always love her, whether I feel worn out, frustrated, stressed out, annoyed, sad, or happy.

I am looking forward to being married. But I have to admit to being just a little bit nervous..........

Friday, 9 September 2011

Two heart-stopping seconds.........

Just two ticks of the clock. But they seemed more like ten.

A busy, unfamiliar road. Suddenly realizing that I had to slow down in a big hurry....

The wet road, sliding, squealing tires, the car in front that seemed to get closer no matter what I did. And ten thoughts flashing through my mind in a heartbeat. The song I was singing was cut off and replaced with a prayer. Probably the shortest prayer I've ever prayed.

Amazing what adrenaline does.

Seconds seemed to blur together. 
Let's look at what happened in the space of about three seconds there. It started when I realized that the traffic in the lane I was in, was stationary, about a hundred meters ahead of me. No rush, I would simply change lanes. I couldn't move right, because I needed to turn left, besides, the right lane was stopped dead too. No worries, the left lane it was then. Mirrors, check. Check blind spot, whoa. I knew there was no car right there just before, but he was obviously going a little faster than me and had caught up. Running out of space, I couldn't merge. Stop it was then. Brake. Hard. The tires started to squeal. No! I couldn't afford to lose control of the car now! I obviously didn't have too much traction on the wet road. Good thing I had remembered to insure my car again. But I couldn't afford an insurance claim right now. A $1200 excess was more than I could afford with my wedding coming up. Dear God, please no! Cars were passing me on my left, so I still couldn't change lanes. Resist the urge to shut my eyes. I rode the limits of traction until I was 4 feet from the car in front of me.

Then I was dimly aware of a frantic pounding in my head and chest. The blood flow to my brain had just tripled. No wonder I thought so much in three seconds. Good thing too, Or I would have panicked badly and slid into the back of the silver station wagon in front of me.

And that brings me to the point I wanted to make. I'm no driving maestro. But He heard me in that split second. And planned for it a long time before.

"I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made..." Psalms 139:14. Wonderfully? Sure, every Christian believes that. Fearfully? Why fearfully?

Why did God give Adam adrenal glands? Why did he design him with an immune system? He didn't need it in the garden of Eden, that's for sure. But God, in His loving mercy, provided man with the things He needed to survive even if he fell into sin. God designed man to survive.

Fearfully.... Wonderfully........

Made.... Created.... Designed....

Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Down is up


Maybe I had better explain what I mean.... :)

It's something curious I have noticed in the last few months... You'd never guess.

There is no relationship without conflict. Got that? Maybe I had better repeat that. There is NO relationship without conflict...

The measure of a good or bad relationship is not "How much or how little conflict is there?" Rather, it is, how do you deal with the conflict. There are a number of different ways of dealing with it.

1. Ignore it.
2. Hope it goes away.
3. Stubbornly stand your ground.
4. Pass it off as the other person's fault.
5. Complain to someone else about it.
6. Talk to the other person and try to work the problem out, lovingly, understandingly, and gently.

I'll give you just one guess as to how many of these actually work. And if you are wondering why I listed them in that order, just go read them again. If you've been through any relationship, you'll likely see that I have listed them in a sort of chronological order. First the tendency to ignore it, and hope it goes away, at the same time still clinging to your position like a bulldog with lockjaw. All the while convincing yourself that it is the other persons fault, and that if they were reasonable they would apologize. Then, because they probably don't, start complaining to someone else about it... Finally, hopefully, you realize there is only one way to work it out and solve the problem.

Now, maybe this isn't exactly the way it tends to work for you. Now you may never consider some of those so called 'solutions'. But do you actively pursue number 6?

It took me a while to realize that unresolved conflict is like having a knife stuck in your side and having it twisted every now and then. But resolve that problem, and it leaves the relationship so much stronger than if there had never been any conflict. Hence the title for this post. Down is up. Conflict can bring you closer together with the person you love, but only if you work on it. Don't ignore it, don't blame the other person (Whether they are to blame or not, is not the issue).

See, I've made every mistake on that list, several times over. And short though our relationship has been so far, I've seen how destructive all but one of those listed ideas can be. They will tear a relationship apart, inevitably, surely, and probably very slowly. But why let that happen?