It’s all Meaningless!

Ultimately everything points back to the wholly penetrating love of Jesus Christ. I am convicted with the belief that he came to earth humbling himself being both God and man to die as a living sacrifice for our sins! (John 3:16)

Today I’ve been exploring life and decision making, with a good friend who is at a point of great decision; he’s about to submit his university preferences coming to the closing end of his year 12. How do you decide with the large variety presented to high school graduates today? How does someone go from having no idea what they want to do with their life, to choosings a course that will set them up for life?

Well I,  as a Christian, believe in a God that has a plan and a purpose for each of us. I want my life to be a fulfilment of his purpose for me. The truth is that our decisions are best made out of a close, loving relationship with Jesus! I don’t know about you, but things have always gone the best when my focus is on God! When God is the focus of my work and interactions his power is released and I’m enabled to do things in his supernatural strength, rather than relying on my own human capabilities.

Paul put it in a way that clearly and perfectly exemplifies what we were discussing.

What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.

– Philippians 3:8 NIV

Everything is rubbish in comparison to a close relationship with Christ! His glory is my sole mission.

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I believe that our sole purpose should be to grow closer to Jesus, subsequently becoming more like him. I hope that in everything I do he can be greatly glorified as my King and Creator.

Be men of love, men of courage…

Let us go forth to the earth sharing his Love! To live is Christ, and to die is gain! Philippians 1.21

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Last minute Trip to Queensland

When an Evangelist invites you, and God says go, what do you do?

The mission was simple. Go, help and learn. Oh, and it’ll have to be next week.

Travel/Planning

Daniel Jones called me on Tuesday morning, we’d been toying with the idea of me flying to Queensland for a week to help him out and learn from him. Well the week that would work for him was the following week. I was a bit surprised about how soon this could all happen, so I prayed about it I felt good things, I called my father, workplace, church and they were all in support. I became very keen, and sent Dan a text communicating the developments on my end. One day goes by, another day goes by and then when I’m about to go to sleep at about 11:30 pm I get a call from Dan, he tells me its all good, I should come and that he’ll have a place for me to stay. So I booked some flights to Queensland that very night.

Objective

Giving Dan a week of my time and flying up there was all with a simple mission:

  • Extend the Jones Ministries Web Presence
  • Learn from someone God is using exponentially
  • Meet the guys from yesHEis
  • Preach

Highlights

Online Presence

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We got it done! The mission was achieved despite all the craziness the goal was achieved. Daniel and Shakeera’s Ministry now has an online home and an associated web presence. For your interest, the following are the result of this work:

Christian Vision Australia

Love God. Love People. Go.

This is our mission as christians, and the recent campaign from yesHEis around it got me hooked with yesHEis. I’ve written about #goeverywhere before so I won’t go into that, but through my relationship with the guys there I organised to hang out at the Sunshine Coast offices of Christian vision where they make yesHEis happen. To give context here is how it works in regards to the organisational breakdown of yesHEis and the campaign #goeverywhere:

Rob > Christian Vision > yesHEis > #goeverywhere

So of course because I love what they are doing for Jesus and the kingdom, I wanted to take the opportunity to meet them and have a tour of their offices. Brendan took me for a tour of the fantastic offices. I had a chat with one of the members of the Software Development Team as pictured below where we discussed the development lifecycle they use and more programmer talk.

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It was also really cool getting to meet the team behind it all, and chatting about what’s good about yesHEis and how it can grow. I really love the attention given to quality and strategy used throughout the whole company.

Youth Meeting

Daniel and I traveled through Brisbane to a youth service, where he had organised to share. We both walked into this church and you could feel the presence of God on that place. Of the youth group 90% don’t attend church on a Sunday, with a very new and growing ministry. As we walked into the room there were lights flashing, dance music playing and a jumping castle and soccer all happening at once. We got in there, Dan was doing flips on the jumping castle and then we were on opposite teams in the high paced game of soccer.

Then Dan got everyone together for his opportunity to share. At the end of this sharing time he felt some different words of knowledge for healing. One of which was for a girl with a bad back, two girls with Scoliosis came forward. Dan offered if anyone wanted to pray for them to come forward, so a group of girls came up and prayed. After praying and testing a couple of times both of the girls got healed from Scoliosis! They were so excited, then the two girls and the girls that were praying for them all got saved! It was such an exciting and awesome part of my trip, seeing these guys come to Jesus.

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Skatepark Ministry

On the Friday, we took an esky full of drinks down to the skatepark and chilled with the boys that were there. It was great being able to connect with them and show them a different side of christianity where we focus on being real and relatable (while still sticking strong to our faith).

Indoor Skatepark

 

The following day we went to and Indoor skatepark to continue what we had started. One of the guys we’d met the day before at the other skatepark was there, it was great to further develop that friendship.

Break a leg

So as Dan likes adventure sports…

So of course he wasn’t going to miss this opportunity to push the limits and try something to get his heart racing. He was going hard on the big half pipe in the back right hand corner of the above photo, shooting for his T.V. show Wild Truth. When he had an accident at the top of one side and fell to the bottom of the pipe. Lying there on the wood in agony, later we found out that he had a fracture in his upper leg and had dislocated his leg from his hip.

Prayer Works

The Ambulance came, they pumped him full of Morphine and took him off to the hospital. Where he went into theatre and they put his leg back in place. By this time I was hitting the social media accounts with updates and prayer request information. So people everywhere were praying, and some core people were in the hospital laying hands. The next morning Dan went in for a scan again and sure enough his leg was healed!

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On Sunday, Daniel was released from the hospital healed from his massive injury and ready to keep working. To see as many come to Jesus as possible!

Coast Harvest and S.O.S.

On Thursday after visiting Christian Vision I had the opportunity to visit Dan’s shed, where he runs a food service for under privileged families, I filmed a short interview on my iPhone and go to hear lots about the vision of this valuable ministry.

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On Sunday, I was invited back to the Sunshine Coast to preach at the afternoon church service of Coast Harvest. It was a real blessing to share what was on my heart and I’m very grateful for the opportunity. It was fantastic meeting all of Daniel’s Family, the presence of God was thick in that tiny  little church service, the way God’s power came over me during the worship was powerful. Then as was organised I got up and spoke, I shared a short message of what was on my heart, being Gifts and how they are super important inside and outside of the church. Following my message we had some powerful ministry time where I got the opportunity to pray for growth in the area of gifts.

Conclusion

Through this week I have learnt a lot about myself and ministry. I am now even more excited for the future and what God has in store for me.

#goeverywhere

Love God. Love People.

God’s Call for Us

Jesus changed the direction of my life, He made me new. Ever since then I’ve been passionate about seeing my relationship with God be more than words, but instead extend to my very existence. I believe that we are made to worship God, in every part of our lives: our work, our speech, our driving, our resting, our singing, everything. To me a life of sacrifice a life ‘sold out’ for Jesus is doing everything for his glory. As a christian captured by the love Christ gave me, I want to love God and love the people he’s put in my life and never stop telling the world how much I love my God. I can do all the greatest things for example, I could move mountains, I could preach the truth, I could become a martyr, but if I do not have love it is all meaningless (1 Corinthians 13, or The Song).

yesHEis

YesHEis are an awesome organisation of christians that are building tools and making stuff happen. Their goal is to break down the walls between us and sharing Jesus, so that we can share Jesus more. Now if someone is honestly just sharing the love and truth of Jesus I’m all in, so you beat I was sold when I heard about  the #goeverywhere campaign.  All I needed to see was the punch line, and I was hooked:

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Love God.

Love People.

Go.

Its that simple, I love simple, thats probably why I love #goeverywhere. As christians we need to know the simple version of our testimony, of our mission. How do you expect a homeless person to understand you if you are throwing ‘Christianease’ and ‘big words’ into every sentence. Keep it simple.

#goeverywhere Campaign

So I’m pretty confident that yesHEis do Jesus loving stuff like this all the time, but right now they are focusing on a campaign to spread the simple yet profound love of Christ. Its awesome, for all the details check out goeverywhere.co. They have an awesome story and I just love the Campaign video:

The Package

So heres my situation

I learnt about #goeverywhere, I loved it and I was telling everyone about it. Well obviously I was wearing the shirt a lot (and washing it a lot), but I made my mistake when I decided to wear it to the kids ministry stuff I was doing… It got destroyed.

Brendon to the rescue

Brendon one of the awesome guys that works at yesHEis wouldn’t let my situation go unresolved, I messaged him and laid out my situation. Then a couple of weeks latter, I get a package in the mail. New shirt, personal message and a mission:

tones of cards love god love people

 

I was excited about the T-shirt and the cards do look super cool, but I must admit when I saw that many cards I was a bit daunted by the challenge.

How on earth do I give away probably around 500, cards! All I can say is that now 3 days later I only have about 20 left.

I’m a youth leader at my local church so armed with a truckload of awesomeness (the cards) and a wearing the shirt, I am telling everyone how awesome God is and how this campaign is doing great stuff to empower us. I gave heaps out, and to people who got super excited like me, I gave a handful and together, we spread this simple truth throughout the youth program and further.

Because its not about us, its about God and God is love so Go. #goeverywhere

How would you stop sex slavery?

On the 27th of Feb if your friends are anything like mine, your Instagram feed would’ve been filled with photos that all look very similar to the one above. End it Movement was having a campaign to raise awareness about the incredible need of a those who are trapped in modern day slavery. I don’t know about you but I want to see the 27 million people trapped in slavery set free!

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Campaigns like this are awesome as they build up media attention an a ground swell, it puts this issue on T.V. and in people’s conversations. I don’t just care about End it Movement although they are doing a great work, some other awesome groups are A21 and one hundred for 100 which is by someone I know personally. These people are doing awesome campaigns, but their campaigns would be nothing unless it translates into testimonies of people getting freed from slavery. That is what its about. I believe these organisations are more focused on this goal that I am, and as they should be. They are doing awesome work around the globe rescuing and rehabilitating people from horrible circumstances. They run these campaigns to make change and influence people, to GET STUFF DONE. So what are we going to do?

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Ideas

I don’t know about you, but I think at times God really presses things on our hearts. Whenever hearing about the horrific circumstance that these slaves are in, I have always had the knee jerk reaction of wanting to protecting them. At the age of 13 – 14 at conferences hearing about the horrific mistreatment, abuse, violation and torture. I had imagined plans that I could make a career as a SWAT team missionary taking rescue strike teams into brothels, and carrying out the drugged up, broken and hurting slaves, efficiently loading up a brothel amount of people into special rescue escape vans. In my imagination these plans were always protected with the Lords covering and without fail always went off without a hitch.

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What if you had $27 Billion?

I don’t know if I’ll ever make it to the front lines and if it will even look like that. According to one sex slave’s report that is exactly what they dream about on the other end. What if? 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funded by big bucks and likes tackling big ambitious goals. Like their Polio project, they aren’t trying to make the vaccination free in every country of the world or anything small like that.  The plain and simple just want the world to be rid of it, so they are funding all the vaccinations you could possibly need and equipping people to administer them to where ever it still exists. Could you imagine if they gave you $1,o00 per slave globally to free them all. What would you do?

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Would you train up rescue crews and start your own privately run not for profit GIAAS (Global Intelligence Agency Against Slavery)? What if you succeeded and you were able to free every single slave globally. What would happen then? How would you cope with the 27 million emotionally and physically broken people you have just rescued. Extreme worldwide counseling service?

What then? You also would have to provide 27 million people new working opportunities. Most of whom have been trained into the cruel cycle of forced sex work. Heck imagine the poor view of men, the majority of those girls would have. Everyone needs a community/family to belong to, and lots of these people’s families wouldn’t exist anymore or wouldn’t be a welcoming place for them to return to. Would you put them all together and start a new city where they can all heal together?

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Is rescuing slaves the 27 million people solution?

Whos to say the day you take forced slave labour brothel’s ‘product’ (aka valued humans that aren’t being treated as valuable) they wouldn’t turn around to their ‘suppliers’ (people who resort to stealing girls and selling them on to make a living) and make orders for ‘fresh stock’? Would you actually be fixing the problem? According to economics as long as there is customers willing to pay for something the market will produce it one way or another. That is how we have this problem in the first place!

Are slaves the only victims?

What causes a man to purchase a person, a girl, and treat her like an animal (or worse). Reducing her to the complete and utter feeling of worthlessness. What hurt and pain are they going through? What motivates these types of people? You could try to solve the problem by counseling the organisers, if you convinced every slave owner in the world to change their ways would you have solved the problem yet?

What causes a man to pay to be locked in a room with someone who is trapped there so that he can do things to her she doesn’t want to do. There must be some pretty serious things going on in his life. What if you found all the customers of all the brothels all around the world and counseled them to a point where they chose not to use the services of the sex slavery industry? Would that fix the problem? Wouldn’t the Brothels notice the lack of business and start boosting their ‘marketing efforts'(Who knows what that would mean, and what consequences that would have)? If there was no customers, do you think the slaves would be set free or would they be treated like animals as they have been the whole way along and just ‘removed’?

Where is God in all of this?

Any of these plans are to fix slavery in your own strength, as a Christian I’d way prefer to do this in God’s strength. After all he expresses how much he doesn’t like this in his word. “Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker” (Proverbs 14:31 ESV) I would say God cares greatly about the people he has created, and seeing them be mistreated and abused is something he doesn’t stand for. The whole situation is fraught with the devil and his doing, why shouldn’t we as God fearing Christians be chasing God and his solution?

I don’t know about you, but my life is so much better with Jesus, and wouldn’t his grace and love be the real solution. When I think of these problems, I can’t think of one that Jesus couldn’t fix. I believe them having Jesus is even more important than moving on from their situation (even though Jesus can do that too). Because I’d much rather someone, die in slavery and live eternally in heaven, than be free from slavery while on earth, only to find eternal bondage and slavery of worse kind in hell.

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What we can do

But isn’t this really all just talk? I want to know what I can DO! Yes media support is helpful. But the most influential thing I can think of is getting on my knees and praying:

John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it

Alongside talking to the one person that can actually fix this(Jesus Christ), I would find a way to support what others are doing. A21 has a great list of 21 Things you can do.

Slavery, especially sex slavery, gives me the feeling of anger, in a way that I want to be an instrument of bringing God’s kingdom on earth.

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Please note this is purely my own opinion and is not founded on any personal experience with the subject matter discussed. I am however open to other opinions and recommendations.