Reflections of a Broken Man

On Doors and Desires…
September 22, 2009, 7:33 pm
Filed under: Reflections

It took me a while to figure out a way to login to this thing without using Steve’s email.

I know. I know. I still haven’t posted the follow-up to my previous post. Mostly because those reflections rely on my preparation for a Bible study that I led today, which I wasn’t too happy about.

Anyway, I thought this blog was ’emo’ enough to go here. Yes. I only intend to write here if the contents of my writing truly are “Reflections of a Broken Man”…

“Keep asking, and you will be given to you. Keep searching and you will find. Keep knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

Matthew 7.7-12

My prayer life has been rusty, if at all existent, of late. Not that I’m not willing to pray, or even pray for those around me. But I’ve become hesitant when in comes to prayers regarding my own welfare. Which is strange, thinking about it now: How am I praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ — knowing God acts for the good of his people — when I lack the faith (and probably assurance) that God acts for my well-being also?

It may well be that I have become too aware that my will may not coincide with God’s. But after a conversation with Steve (reporting back on Calvin@500), I was encouraged to find that our prayers are ordained by God as we pray them. But as we hear God’s answer (be it ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘wait’), we find God’s will for our lives. And. particularly as well reflect on His word, we begin to develop a prayer life that conforms to God’s will more and more.

I may have gotten things wrong;  forgive me if that is the case.

But looking at that in light of my desires and aspirations for my life, even including my desire to take part in vocational ministry, I am more encouraged to desire, to ask, seek, knock that those doors will be opened (however that may look for God’s will in my life). And, without waiting for a ‘sign’ as such, I would like to see where my life would be headed for the near future. I must admit that I am still unwise regarding the path on which I should take so I am also willing to listen to the wisdom of those who minister to me.

Pray. Pray. Pray.

I must, at most, remember to pray constantly.

I find that I am easily discouraged… by so many things that are ultimately inexcusable grumbling. Thus I’ve found it necessary to be surrounded by a community of believers (a ‘cloud of witnesses’ as preacher of Hebrews puts it) to cheer me on and even metaphorically give me slap on the back of the head when I come to an unnecessary state of despair.

This is where Steve comes in…

Or rather, I barge into his premises (which I’d imagine is inconvenient at times). I really should be more sensitive in that respect, but I am thankful for his hospitality and fellowship.

Your work was in my prayers, dude.

On eu AGMs (Part 1): Ministry belongs to God’s people.
September 15, 2009, 8:23 pm
Filed under: Reflections

Another eu year has gone by in terms of its leadership. And I’m always encouraged around about this time, reflecting on God’s blessing in his ministry on campus and looking forward to who God has raised to steward over it for the following year. On Monday night I attended two Annual General Meetings [AGM] of the eu. The first was with the faculty I take part in, ACES. The one for the eu as a whole followed, with an hour separating the two for the equip ethics course.

Faculty AGMs tend to be more chillaxed. Usually with a presentation recounting the year as a whole and some words of wisdom for the exiting committee (servants who lead the faculty) before we vote* on the entering committee. Orion (former male faculty leader of aces) gave a talk on the purpose of the committee; one that I’ve heard before. Based on the start of Ephesians 4, he made a few points that are worth noting.

  1. First, that ministry belongs to “God’s people” (v.12)
  2. Second, that God apportions gifts (his grace) diversely. In that God calls some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors teachers. And although that list is not exhaustive, particular roles such as these are purposed “to prepare God’s people for works of service” (ibid).
    Thus, also taking into account that time within committee is fleeting, the leadership needs to allow for redundancy (comparative to the work of euers in general and, of course, God).
  3. Thirdly, the goal of ministry is for people to be built up in Christ:

    “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Ephesians 4.15

    This is done by speaking.
    And speaking the truth; not simply in terms of ‘honesty’ but the truth of Jesus.
    And this is done togeather, in love

Therefore, in electing the in-coming committee it was important to consider who would prepare God’s people for works of service.
It is both humbling and liberating to be one of God’s people.
All called by his grace. And all taking part in his work.

Part 2 on the ‘all union’ AGM will be up soon.

*A clarification on the voting within the eu: I’m not exactly sure how other USU clubs and societies do it, but as far as I know the democracy within the eu seems kind of skewed since members tend to be unfailingly agreeable. But those that are brave also ‘abstain’. Maybe this is a problem, I don’t know. And I think it’s a good problem to have, since the candidates for leadership (from the years I have been at uni) have been so well suited in their positions that it’s valuable to have full support from those whom they are to serve.
Alas, being that I’m an associate member of the eu (i.e. without ‘access’) I don’t get the responsibility and privilege of voting. But I wonder if anyone has ever voted against the nominated leaders within the eu?


P.S. This was copied and pasted from facebook ‘Notes’ application. After having had written the draft, I figured that the negative tones in ‘redundancy’ and the voting bullet point was emo enough to qualify for this blog. Please excuse any awkward formatting.

P.P.S. I’m still unsure as to how to do some of the fancy things on this blog, like making the passage pop-up when I reference them. But stephenmac will teach me in his good time. In the meantime, I thank him, once again, for the many friendly chats we’ve had when I pop into chappo without warning.

On Patricious…
September 10, 2009, 4:26 pm
Filed under: Reflections

(Reflections on Me, I guess… or stephenmac and myself)


Btw, This puts stalking at a whole new level…

But before I do anything else, I really should introduce myself:

My name is Patrick.

It’s from the Latin word for ‘nobleman’, Patricious.

I am about the same age as stephenmac but am substantially less educated than he is. He studied at the same level as my older brother (not because of anything special, just the way things work out with the education system in NSW) hence we are somewhat better acquainted. I don’t remember us really hanging out during high school, but university does permit for more social interaction between the year groups for some strange reason (most likely because age is no longer a factor in sharing a class with someone). I’ve never shared a class with Steve my whole life.

But we do share in God’s grace. Steve and I are both followers of Jesus. Thus I consider him more like a brother than a friend. We both participated in one of the Christian groups at uni, the Evangelical Union. Some would encourage students to go to Sydney University just because of the EU. I would, in jest, agree. The conversations we’ve had over the years have made me realise how blessed we’ve been to have been immersed with sound doctrine and a genuinely loving community in high school carrying on to university.

But in these last [few] days, Steve has really been instrumental in indoctrinating me into the life of a college boy.

This evolved from inviting me over to play a game of pool in the men’s common room, to even sneaking me in to use their shower facilities. Long story, but my situation was cold, dire and dirty.

Even this guest-blog is surely a foot-in-the-door attempt to get me to buy into college (sooner rather than later). Being that the blog-o-sphere has just become one of those integral communicative tools for pastors and teachers for their thoughts and words of wisdom as they progress in their ministry. Alas, it can also work as a distraction. It’s just one of those things that a lot of college boys get into.

But, yes, I do intend to attend a Bible college at some point. The many coffees and conversations I’ve had with Steve (he’s even fed me a couple of times) have been really helpful to that end. Even at times when I’ve questioned my abilities regarding this calling..

Anyway, I just wanted to introduce myself as a friend and brother of stephenmac.

With regards to “Reflections of a Broken Man”, I told Steve my blog posts are likely to be quite emo. To which he responded, “PERFECT!”

I will probably start up my own blog soon after this (depending on how addicted I become).

At least it’s gotten me writing something (as opposed to my essay question…)

And thanks to all of you that actually read this.

That’s right, you two…