Found this…

Not by ourselves
December 28, 2008, 8:37 pm
Filed under: Some food for today | Tags: , , , ,

Today was a great day, started with a surf with mates, made a bookshelf for a mate (watching 4 guys go to Bunnings and buy materials to make a bookcase was an experience. The guys who worked there were literally laughing at us, “How many guys does it take to make a bookshelf. You’re using bricks and planks of wood. Can I take a photo?”), and then went to church. Our God is a good God. It makes me wonder how great is His love, knowing how I treat Him.

Now today’s sermon was on Galatians 5. Talking about being the end of 2008 and how you are going to ‘do’ 2009. Are you going to let God shape your 2009, shape you in 2009? That was one of the questions and as we all know that is easier at some points than others. We want to walk with our Father but sometimes we walk out of step with Him and end up faltering. That’s the sucky bit. Now this is not to get us down but to realise we can’t do it with our own power, with our own strength, WE CAN’T DO IT ON OUR OWN! I love it how Galatians 5 talks about the spirit. The result of not being in the spirit and when we are in the spirit what it looks like.

” So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:16-21) 

When I read the above it makes me think about my own life. How opposed is my walking in the spirit to being in sinful nature? I really think that I sometimes kid myself with how I look at life. However when I read this I am so convicted that things have to change. I read the acts of the sinful nature and don’t want to be associated with any of these however so often I see myself tainted with these worldly desires. They are all fleeting pleasures which I know. The life of Christianity is a battle and I really want to fight hard(er) this up coming year.

So I have to work on wanting what the spirit calls me to: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.” (Galatians 5:22-25) 

One of the songs that we sung tonight was LOVE CAME DOWN by Ben Cantelon. I love singing this song not only because I like the tune but also the words that seep deep into the heart. Read them and you’ll see.

When I call on Your name You answer
When I fall You are there by my side
You delivered me out of darkness
Now I stand in the hope of new life.

By grace I’m free
You’ve rescued me
All I am is Yours

I’ve found a love greater than life itself
I’ve found a hope stronger and nothing compares
I once was lost now I’m alive in You

(verse 2)
You’re my God and my Firm Foundation
It is You whom I’ll trust at all times
I give glory and praise, adoration
To my Saviour who’s seated on high

Love came down and rescued me
I thank You, I thank You
I once was blind but now I see
I see You, I see You




Santa is real…
December 26, 2008, 10:40 am
Filed under: Some food for today | Tags: ,

So another Christmas has come and gone. While trawling the pages this morning I came across one by Mark Driscoll about Santa aka Saint Nicholas. You can find it here

Santa Claus is a kids thing (isn’t it) and when you grow up you find out he’s not real and is really various men trying to keep the dream alive or are getting paid to do it. Well of course I’m not here to keep the dream alive as Christmas isn’t about the fat bearded one but it comes to my surprise that Saint Nicholas was a real person. There are pieces to the puzzle that when put together put a picture together, sort of…

So who was this Saint?

  • Nicholas was born in the third century in Patara, Turkey. 
  • Born into an affluent family
  • Parents died when he was quite young. 
  • His parents had raised him to be a devout Christian, which led him to spend his great inheritance on helping the poor, especially children. 
  • He was known to frequently give gifts to children, sometimes even hanging socks filled with treats and gifts.

His most famous Act of Kindness

He helped 3 Christian sisters as they were too poor to pay for their wedding dowry. Instead of facing a life a prostitution, Saint Nic saved them by paying for their dowry.

He was a great…

Christian leader and was eventually voted the Bishop of Myra, a port city that the apostle Paul had previously visited (Acts 27:5-6). Nic also did his fair share of defending the gospel. In AD325 he journeyed to the Council of Nicea where he helped defend the deity of Christ.

Other facts:

  • He died Dec 6th 343
  • Canonized as a Saint
  • The anniversary of his death was called the St. Nicholas holiday when gifts were given in his memory
  • He remained a very popular saint among Catholic and Orthodox Christians, with some 2,000 churches named after him.

And so Christmas and Nic’s day eventually merged as they were celebrated within weeks of each other.

The Reformation Controversy

During the Reformation the Protestants didn’t approve of Nic because they thought both canonizing him and celebrating a holiday for him were wrong. 

This is what happened in certain places:

  • The holiday was celebrated in Holland (the only Protestant country), where he was known as Sinterklass
  • Martin Luther replaced him in Germany with the Christ child as the object of holiday celebration or in the native tongue Christkindl. 


Over the years the celebration of the Christ child was simplified to Kriss Kingle and funnily enough it just became another name for Santa Claus.

Santa Myths – These usually squash other stories together

The Chimney!

There was a myth that on Nic’s day a demon entered people’s homes to terrorize children and it was Nic’s job to cast it out of the home. This is why they think Santa came down chimneys (I don’t know who “they” are).

The other version originates from Siberia. A holy man (Shaman) entered people’s homes through their fire place and left mushrooms as gifts. (I find that hilarious!) According to the myth he would hand them in front of the fire to dry. But unfortunately he didn’t plan for reindeers to eat them. This is the funny part the reindeers would eat them and reportedly become intoxicated! This may have started the myth that the reindeer could fly, as it was believed that the shaman could also fly.

The merging of the stories may also explain why Santa came from the North pole (The Siberia link).

So how did this get to us?

So like the rest of the world we are influenced by America. The stories first reached the US shores by Dutch immigrants and in the early 20th century shops began having Santa Claus presents for children. Children then sent letters to the North Pole.

What do we do with this?

Well we can think if Santa came from Saint Nicholas a devout Christian then we should do what he would want. Make Christmas about the birth of Jesus.

The glass tree
December 26, 2008, 12:14 am
Filed under: Design, That's cool

This Christmas tree is quite cool. I would say it would be hard to put up though.

Tree shelf
December 25, 2008, 11:52 pm
Filed under: Design, That's cool | Tags: , , ,

I’d make one of these…


A new view of Shanghai
December 25, 2008, 11:16 pm
Filed under: Design, That's cool | Tags: , ,

So if I had a heap of time on my hands and a whole lotta poker chips and dice I’d maybe do this… It’s made by Liu Jianhua in Italy and is titled the ‘Unreal Scene’. Its meant to be the outline of Shanghai. I have no way of verifying this but it’s still very impressive.

Seeing too many Santas
December 25, 2008, 10:46 pm
Filed under: That's cool | Tags:

This photo just makes me laugh…


The humble thread spool
December 25, 2008, 10:45 pm
Filed under: Design, That's cool | Tags: , , ,

Art comes in many different forms. This artist named Devorah Sperber has taken different colours of thread in the form of spools and turned them into “wow” pieces. If you look at the “Last Supper” work it took 20,736 spools to make!