Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Hey Everyone who reads this blog!

So I'm a twitter follower. No it's not a replacement for Jesus but it could ba new religion 4 some. The talk is that Jennifer Aniston dumped John Mayer cos he spent more time with 'Twitter' than with her! For those of u who haven't logged on yet - twitter is kinda like the new facebook - except shorter and easier 2 use. Updates about your life basically. And people follow u & u follow people. I follow more people than people follow me.

So one of the people I am following is someone whom I think is great, someone I look up to. And they were following me ... all cool ... all cool until I went 2 send them a message & found out they were no longer following me. YES - I had been removed as someone whom this person wanted to follow!!!

Now its funny - cos this in the scheme of life it's pretty small, not really worth mentioning - when compared with my relationship with Jesus, my family & friends, maturing as a man of God, man of Character (you get the point), the things others r going through at this time - but isn't it always the way that the small, the tiny, the little unexpecteds - seem 2b the things that remind us the most that we're not all we r cracked up 2b when it comes 2 our character, where we place our security, what our flesh STILL longs 4 even tho we USED to struggle with these things!?!

WELL I FOUND MYSELF STRUGGLING! My brain was going nutso 4 about a day - what did I do 4 this person 2 stop following me on their twitter? & All the flesh questions come at once - have I been too in their face, not in their face enough, what happens if they're upset with me, what did I do 2 upset them? Does this mean i'm losing influence, did I have influence in the 1st place? U get the picture!

Now I know some reading this may think - "ARAN, you've got to be kidding, you're more mature than this." And this actually is part of the problem - uc sometimes I DO think i'm more mature than this!! Forgetting that it is only because of Christ in me ACKNOWLEDGED & REALISED & RELIANT that I CAN be more mature than this. I wonder if every so often The Holy Spirit just gives us a little bit more space to discover just how messed up we can be without him. I wonder.

We ALL have areas of continual struggle in the area of personal security & where we get our esteem. I know we are encouraged 2 get NEW problems in life & that is very true. But looking at my own life & the lives of those closest 2 me I find that there r one or two underlying, root challenges that seem to always be with me. At the very least they leave 4a time but then come back & try & get me 2 doubt my knowing that my security & value comes from no man, woman, position, job, feeling, opportunity, dollar or thing but in a everyday normal yet supernatural relationship with God - God Himself! God Father, God Son & God Holy Spirit! God!!!

What to do with these most challenging areas of our lives that raise their little heads out of the ground, whilst their deep roots are hidden, deep below the surface, seemingly impossible 2 remove?? I know the following isn't new - but i think its helpful (well it has been 4 me & my mini twitter melt down)

- It goes something like this "In this area of my life, I think wrongly". It's not "This is a challenge but God is working on me, glory be Hallelujah" - its "I NEED GOD IN THIS AREA OF MY LIFE NOW!" In Christ we HAVE been redeemed from our flesh AND at the same time our flesh is still being redeemed. I have had to admit a couple of times this week that my security in Christ is still not where it can be, it's still flawed, still has immaturities & only God, through His Holy Spirirt partnering with my choices can change this. ADMIT THE FLESH!

- This goes something like "My Flesh wants me 2 get all bent out of shape because such & such took me off their twitter (even tho it could've just been a mistake); My flesh wants 2 feel insecure, isolated, alone, broken, annoyed - but ME, The CHRIST IN ME knows that this 'twitter' moment is an opportunity for Christ in Me to say to my flesh 'What a great opportunity to cement even more my security, my value, my worth, my personhood IN JESUS & not in any man, woman, man, woman, position, job, feeling, opportunity, dollar or thing! SUBMIT THE FLESH! (Daily I find - & i'm sure it's NOT a twitter moment 4u :)

- I plan my way, my friends, my dreams, my schemes, my relationships, my opportunities - but it IS GOD ALONE who directs my steps. What a thought, as Sy Rogers shared at our Church recently, that it is GOD who is ULTIMATELY responsible 4 everything that happens to me!!! And that whether a family member or friend comes or goes, whether an economy rises or falls, whether a joy or grief, gain or loss, promotion or demotion, palace or prison, kept or discarded, twitter follower or twitter deleter - IT IS GOD who allows what happens in MY life 4 His reason & His purpose & I am asked to TRUST HIM through it all!!! As the old song says "He's got the whole world in His hands" - so I think the best thing to do in it is to give Him what is His anyway in a willing, voluntary capacity where, under the shadow of His wing, he can protect me when i need protection, expose me when I need exposing, lead me & guide either by green pasture or the shepherds rod & foot on my back as he pushes me through the dirt (as are the literal pictures of Psalm 23.) COMMIT MY WAY TO THE LORD!!! For in the end He WILL have HIS way!

I know this one is heaps longer - but felt it was OK - felt like my moment maybe could help others this week + I haven't said much later.

And the end of my twitter story? The situation hasn't changed but hopefully (please Jesus) I have! Ha! We will see!


Sunday, April 5, 2009


So its been a while I know - almost 2 months actually - has been a big 2 months! We've had a number of big events in the last 2 months - 3 album recordings, an amazing conference, this weekend we hit Easter - my favourite time to reflect on God & His Love - whilst the team including myself work on bringing this same message to as many people as we can over our weekend services & ART FROM THE HEART film & art festival. So all that to say when i was at home I was working on being at home!

I also think I didn't blog cos I've felt like i haven't had much to say ..... NOW FOR EVERYONE WHO KNOWS ME & HAS FALLEN OFF THEIR CHAIR AT THAT STATEMENT ... U CAN GET OFF THE FLOOR & BACK ON YOUR CHAIR :)

It's so easy to talk & talk & talk ... & talk some more - & not actually say anything that's really worth saying!I find this with my wife & challenges she faces. I can talk to her about what she could do, stuff that could help overcome the obstacle, stuff that would 'save' her potential pain & its all good stuff - but maybe not worth saying, cos it doesn't help her it only brings hindrance she doesn't need.

God's Word is His seed - life came into being by His word - & if all life comes through a seed then I think its OK to say His Word is His seed. But seed can't just be planted at any old time. For the seed to reap 100 fold the planter in His wisdom & experience knows when to & when not to plant it. Just because He has the seed doesn't mean the seed will produce. God takes pretty seriously what we do with our seed - in the old testament he was pretty full on with a guy who decided to 'spill his seed' - as in not do with it what was designed. & Jesus cursed a tree whose seed had not fully produced.

So if, like Jesus, my words create my world then my words better be weighty - what I mean weighty is NOT a 'Christianize' language or spiritual veneer or religious language or Church-Culture language - I'm finding more & more that when i TRY to be religious, TRY to be a Christian, TRY to be the answer to someone's problem, TRY to rescue someone - it does not carry God's weight, God's answers - it falls over, sometimes with pretty big consequences.

But when I just be normal - as in WAIT with the "deep things" or "my latest revelation" (or wanting to validate my own esteem by elevating myself in public)- till there is actually something weighty & timely to say - when i just be normal as in wisdom's normal, when i speak common sense - when I don't try to be someone's saviour or someones answer or someones prophet but just be - in close relationship with Jesus, following after Him - loving people, treating them with value & respect, engaging in the present with an eye for God in the future then my words have weight, they have power well beyond what i could manufacture, they are filled with the creative power of God to bring comfort, courage & compassion

If this week ur looking 4 an explanation, an answer, something to say to make sense of a situation or circumstance that just doesn't make sense - well maybe we can together - WAIT PATIENTLY, HOPE EXPECTANTLY & place our TRUST in the only one who is able to be always Trusted - He is the one we celebrate this Easter Time

TILL NEXT .... WELL NOT SURE ... MAYBE MONDAY - if that's when I have something to say!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

BLOG FEB 16 09 - Hedged In???

I had a bit of a strange week ... have been focusing since coming back from holidays on 4 things - rest, peace, slow down, engage - saying it to myself over & over, almost like a mantra (or a meditation, don't freak on me now) - & last week it seemed that no matter what I attempted to do i felt my rest, peace, slowing down & engaging to be slipping like water down a slide.

Why???? I'm not sure - work got a little fuller & some last minute stuff, but that's nothing new, family were pretty crazy & tired, but just being kids u know ... (after our boy almost getting his hand bitten off by a baby Alligator on holiday & surviving he has returned with a new found determination to beat the tripe out of most things that move .. especially boys his age - help us Jesus :) Sometimes in life we know the right way to respond real well - as we r responding in the complete opposite way - last week, that was me! It's these times when I go "There r still parts of me that r so ugly!!" My wife thought I was having my time of the month :) - if u know my wife u know that isn't surprising! It was like for some moments I was an annoyed teenager!

So as I'm trying to figure all this out (which probably wasn't smart either) I eventually had the phrase come to me through something I read "You're being hedged in". Hedged In - not a normal saying I know but this is what it was kind of saying to me

"ARAN - the things that r coming out of u, that u don't like, those adolescent things - they r like weeds - weeds of incorrect thinking, incorrect issues of the soul that have been there most of your life, that are now coming to the surface to be rooted out & weeded out - just STAY where ur, keep living life, keep managing what u need to manage while I (GOD) hedge you in, so u can't go anywhere except wait & endure while I weed out that which has been deeply rooted in u in order to replace it with new seed that will EVENTUALLY produce new fruit in days to come - fruit that will feed OTHERS."

Maybe u feel hedged in too - that u have tried & tried but nothing u can do can get u out of your present living situation & issues of the soul - maybe just maybe the hedge is actually a help, a protection not a hindrance while the Gardener goes to work uprooting those weeds that always seem to come back ... the hedge means that no one can see the work that's being done until they come into the yard of our lives & get to see the difference of our garden - from old weeds to new seeds! God only hides us to heal us!!!


Sunday, February 8, 2009


I'm pretty glued to the TV right now ... like most people I suppose - I've never really known much about Victoria - I've lived in NSW & Queensland - thought Victoria was AFL land & I've never got into AFL! Also thought their State government was ... well anyway!

But watching what has unfolded the last 48 hours in Rural Victoria - watching the people - in a disaster worse than the Bali Bombings, than many things that get world coverage - watching ordinary people act, love & respond in extraordinary ways - I've got to say - There's something special about OUR country - yep OUR means MY! Now all my New Zealand brothers & sisters please don't kill me or call me traitor - i still love my country, my homeland, my people, my food, I still support NZ in all sports - but Australia is also MY COUNTRY! I love this land & I love it's people.

God has placed the most amazing people in a most amazing culture in The Great Southland! Really ordinary people live in Australia, really real people - they can smell a fake a mile off.

I am a part of a local Church & their generosity is something else. For example, each year our people give a lot to help people that need a lot of help. Put this in perspective - when the Tsunami happened our Church gave amounts that were close to surpassing some of the biggest multi-billion dollar companies, please don't believe the reports u may read about certain Churches (like ours) - instead go talk to the people at the Detention Centres, prisons, orphans & widows in nations all around the world - the people in the cities, the suburbs, the outback - the real people with a real perspective.

But it's not just the Church - there is a generosity in most Australians which is simply astounding - $7 Million dollars has been given by our country to the wonderful people in Victoria who have fought the fire to stay alive - FOUGHT, oh man that's an understatement: A Mother & her 2 daughters, hiding in a wombats hole covered in wet sheets & blankets!!! - What a country, ordinary people - fighters, givers - even the media & Politicians - people we normally reserve judgment for are allowing themselves to be moved in ways not seen before!

Wherever ur right now - Australia, New Zealand, America, Uganda, England, Korea, Malaysia - God has placed us where we r NOT to be Superstars but to be met by Him & from knowing him that we would love in extraordinary ways - love God, love people, love living - cos we just don't know when TODAY may be our LAST Day

P.S - Advance Australia Fair!!!


Sunday, February 1, 2009

February 2 BLOG - A New Day

Hey Everyone ... so after having a magnificent holiday on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland ("QUEENSLANDER!" - A cry given to amp up the best State of Origin team in Australia :) my family & I are back into life & it has been a wonderful start to the year because - by God's Grace I am finding myself living in ... TODAY! I've actually always lived in "Today" whatever day that was but I am starting to REALLY LIVE in TODAY!

Have done some pretty big things for me this year in order to see freshness & difference in my life ... things like ... building my relationship with God in a pretty different way ... involves a lot more rest, less structure, greater reliance & more romance (yes Romance!) - starting to not do things because I SHOULD do but because i WANT to - not selfishly but from a place of Love & Care from god & 4 others.

God's love oh man! HE LOVES US!!! He Love U! No matter where your life is at today - today is a new day & today can bring change you've always wanted & some u never knew u wanted, if just 4a bit today u can stop & think - GOD LOVES ME! God loves the me I am now & not just the me I want to be! He loves the broken me, the happy me, the sad me, the joyful me, the stressed me, the procrastinating me, the confused me, the backslidden me, the tormented me - HE LOVES ME! & it's HIM & His love that is fiercely committed to bring me to a place that KNOWS He loves Me - where life changes forever!

This blog won't be long as I'm about to go to take my kids to swimming lessons (Jiana's 1st one) - but I pray that for YOU that TODAY would be experienced as a new day, not a wasted day or an undervalued day but a NEW day filled with opportunity to live life & know Jesus! Give time for the people u love - it is the very best!!!


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

NEW YEARS BLOG - 2009: The Year to Care

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Original I know ... but sometimes the classics are too good to pass up! Hope you had a memorable time of celebration in this last week ... I still am ... have had almost a week's break & on Tuesday am looking forward to another 2 & a half weeks!!! WOOOOO!!!

So on January 1st, for the last 15 years now I've taken some time out to get some perspective for 2009 & hear what God is saying ... or attempt to ... attempt to as in up till last year I would be hearing more based out of what I wanted to have happen in the coming year as opposed to just listening if God had anything to say about the coming year - so I've just concluded this time & thought it would be good to use as my blog for January 1st 2009 - at 11am I went to find my daily devotional, that I've used for the past 16 years & discovered it was missing - can't find it anywhere - & so i thought ... well maybe instead of using the same pattern that I've used for a decade a half it's probably time to try something new .. & this is what came out from.

I believe 2009 is ... THE YEAR TO CARE - Caring for others, caring for ourselves & receiving God's care to live in & out of both!

Sounds silly I know cos every year is a year to care & a year to live ... it's not rocket science or incredibly exciting ... not like breakthrough, miracles (although I'm sure all those will be our portion this year) ... but i feel like it's a real time to focus on Caring ... in the normality of our everyday lives ... at home, work, church & personally for ourselves - loving people, loving ourselves & loving God ALL FROM RECEIVING & KNOWING HIS LOVE FOR US!!!

I feel like the word VICTORY is a key word this year - Going beyond in care for others & ourselves, overcoming in ourselves to care for others through the LOVE of Jesus. It's a year to LIVE!

"When I live to love, I live to God, with God, for God & through God"

My Key Verse for 2009 - 1 John 4:11 "Dear ... (put your name here), since God loved (& loves) you (& sent Jesus, His Son, to be the sacrifice for ALL our sins), you surely ought (must) LOVE PEOPLE!"

In 09, as we come to our Father, not firstly for strategic purpose but for intimate relationship our trust in Him will automatically mature. As we live intimately in His love the best we know how today, our love for people matures - 2008 for me was a manifestation of maturity & I feel like 2009 is going to be the next step in this - step by step, line by line - normal by normal. Our love-life & care-life, our steadiness & depth in God will be seen & measured by our love & care for people. Watch for certain things that have taken time to take up far less of your time so you can be with people!

I'll close with this thought ... In the Greek 1 John 4:11 is pretty much translated as one word -AGAPAO - many of you would know the word AGAPE - which has exactly the same meaning as AGAPAO except for one difference = Both Words mean "the active love of God for His Son & His people & the active love His people are to have for Him, each other & even their enemies." The only difference is that AGAPE'S literal mean is 'THE LOVE FEAST' (extraordinary, unconditional, unfailing love) - whereas AGAPAO doesn't have that ... it's like "The common Love, the Normal Love" It's the Love that says

"YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING TOO DIFFERENT ... JUST LOVE AS YOU LIVE!" or maybe JUST LIVE & LOVE AS YOU GO ... help us Lord to know you love & care for us because it all comes out of this


Might be a few weeks with no blogs as I go on holiday ... spread the love to some of your friends & family if these have helped you ... or maybe get your own thoughts out there!!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

CHRISTMAS BLOG ... He Lives among us!!!

hey Everyone ... I love Christmas ... so much ... our Church celebrates Christmas so wonderfully ... hope yours does too ... if u don't go to Church maybe this is a good time 2 check one out or maybe go back to one .. don't worry you won't stand out .. it's the time of the year where heaps of the 'extended community'come ...

In whatever Church u enter or thing u do I pray this Christmas that everyone one of u reading this blog will find JESUS! I hear it often said that Jesus was born to die ... & that's definitely true ... but Jesus was firstly born to live ... to live with humanity, be with humanity & to make known who The Father really is & what he is really like - so this Christmas - JESUS LIVING AMONG US: Some thoughts to think about:

* Jesus was brought to us by the Grace of God - AMAZING, AMAZING, AMAZING GRACE - I gotta feeling I'm gonna find this out a whole lot more in the next 12 months. Every single thing of value & worth in our lives has only been brought to us by the scandalous Grace of our Father God!

* Jesus was tempted in every point we are (not specifics we are - Jesus wasn't tempted to smoke Crack I don't think ... Peter might've been :) Jesus was tempted to perceive for self, protect self & position & promote self ... or the lust of the eyes, flesh & pride of life .... he's knows us & our depravity, our weakness ... it doesn't surprise him in the least & at the same time he doesn't remember or view us in any of it if we have ACCEPTED that GOD LOVES US & HAS FORGIVEN US OF ALL SIN - past, present & future - Father: I believe - help my unbelief (My Friend Jamie asked me today "ARAN: Does God love you", my reply - "I believe he does" - Jamie's reply in essence was "Do u talk to everyone that clinically?" - big thought hey!!!)

* Jesus had no permanent living place on earth because He came to make His living place with us

*Jesus was relationally let down & still brought these people back to the place of heart-to-heart relationship with Him ... I'm believing for reconciliation in all our lives this Christmas ... think of that one person right now & pray & believe for reconciliation in Jesus name ... we come into agreement with u on it

* Jesus was tired & weary ... so we can't feel guilty for feeling weary or tired because Jesus was .. it's just life

* finally (just for a bit of controversy) had Jesus been on earth before? Some way or another ... not as Jesus but as the 2nd member of the Godhead in another form? Won't even go into it ... just asking :) Naughty I know

Wherever ur this Christmas, whether this time means joy, sorrow or both be at peace & rest, knowing that the God who became human & made his dwelling among us STILL is WITH US & lives right in the middle of us ... if it looks like a mess it's most likely where Jesus will be

Merry Christmas - TILL NEXT MONDAY??? (We will see, I'll be on holidays :)