Family lunch a few days before I left for Second Year BSSM
My keys rig on the day we played one chord for over half an hour!
Bringing laughter to San Francisco on Halloween
It’s been eight months since I’ve written something on here! It’s been an amazing time and I want to share with you the highlights from this year!
Last time I wrote I was going home to Melbourne to do some work during my break between First and Second year BSSM and I was badly in need of a job. Prayers were answered and I was able to get a few shifts with one of my old companies within a week of being home. During the three months I was home, that turned into 6 separate companies plus working a few jobs for myself both as an AV technician and as a graphic designer. SO… needless to say I was quite busy. A highlight for me was working the MORE Conference run by my church Stairway where I mixed FOH. The conference was a week before I left to return to the US for Second Year and was a beautiful transition from working to working ‘at school’ (Bill Johnson spoke and is also a regular teacher at my school) to school.
After a few weeks work I was able to go to Hawaii for the marriage of my best friend Daniel. We have been friends for seven years and have shared many different life experiences together and it was a huge honour to be able to stand next to him as his best man as he married the love of his life Carley! There’s a group of us boys who have been friends for years and we were all part of the bridal party. It was such fun to hang out with them again as we now live on separate continents.
L-R: My standard footy gig / Mixing FOH for MORE Conference / The best view I’ve ever had at work (Also a great view of Melbourne)
After arriving back in Redding I finished moving houses I’m now living with 3 great guys Austin and Bobby who are second years and my roommate Cris is a third year.
Second Year has been quite challenging as it has given me the chance to grow in my leadership capacity and become the extraordinary human being God created me to be. I’ve had a few significant personal breakthroughs already.
One was in worship where we never made it to the first song! We just improvised, largely on a single chord for a whole hour! Talk about ‘playing the moment’. Even earlier this year the thought alone of having to do this would have terrified me! I would have been fearful that I would run out of interesting things to play on just one chord but as I played there was overwhelming peace that settled over me and actually the whole class too and I played easily my most creative set so far. After about 35 minutes we changed to a 1 4 1 4 pattern (musos) for the remaining 30 minutes of the set but I was amazed at how comfortable I was just allowing myself and the whole room to rest in the presence of God!
In October I had the joy of being a groomsman in the wedding of my friend Isaiah who I lived with last year (and also one of my students from YWAM). It was such an honour to stand next to him as he married Jasmine!
Well what am I up to at the moment?
School this year has covered a range of thoroughly interesting topics. What does the Bible say about government, revival, denominationalism vs apostleship, leadership, creating a Kingdom culture (On Earth as it is in Heaven) and of course teaching on gaining further intimacy with God and the fruits of that relationship. All of this has been teaching I have been looking forward to for ages!
One of the pleasures of doing a ministry school is that we get to ‘practice what we preach’. With over 40 different options I asked God what outreach He wanted me to do and I chose to do the San Francisco outreach. The ‘Golden City’ is a beautiful city of steep streets, decent coffee, a famous bridge and millions of people who need to know that there is a God in heaven who loves them and wants them to know Him. I go down once a month with a group of 30-40 other first, second and third year students for two days at a time.
We do a number of different ministries while we are there. The ministries are only there as a framework however as we never have any agenda other than to show people God’s love. If that involves never mentioning the name of Jesus then that’s fine however often I find that my accent (yes I still have it!) leads to the question of why I’m in America and I get to share about my Jesus with them. We go out in twos or threes to do street evangelism which normally ends up with us meeting some of the most amazing and interesting people I’ve ever met! We brought craziness and joy to the Castro district as we ran around on Halloween taking photos with as many people as possible and just bringing love and joy to a suburb famous for its LGBT population. More recently we even got to sing Christmas carols in Union Square! We have seen a few people give their lives to Jesus, healed of both physical, emotional and mental issues and hundreds more impacted as they felt the love of Jesus. I have had several great conversations with shop assistants and owners telling them why I’m down in San Francisco and sharing about Jesus in a very natural way and have often received compliments like “Yeah you’re not like the other Christians I know, wish they were more like you, you seem happier!” I would love to tell you all the amazing stories that have happened over the past few trips but it would make for quite a long read! Coffee?
Every year I have the chance to do a mission trip to somewhere in the world and this year it is to Los Angeles to be part of The Call – Azuza Now which is going to be a huge crusade in Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. I could say a lot of things about this but I’ll let Lou Engle have a go:
So what is my part in that? I am going to be part of the ministry team for the event itself and doing street ministry all throughout Los Angeles in the week beforehand doing just what I do in San Francisco each month. I am beyond excited for what God is going to do through this event and what it represents. I’ll let Lou explain what I’m going to be directly involved in.
When Lou came to school to tell us about this my heart was lit on fire for this event. I believe that all things are possible with God and I can not wait to see what He is going to do both leading up to, through and after this event!
Looking back on this year I can see so much evidence of God’s working in my life, from my personal habits to the way I talk to Him to my understanding of His character to even how I tell others about Him. Not from head knowledge but from an experience of His love and saving grace. 2015 has been a trying year and I’m far from perfect but all I can say is that He is faithful and He is good beyond my wildest imagination. May you know Him the same way I do and more!
PRAYER – for if you’re the praying type…
- For me to be able to find work during my time in Melbourne
- For me to continue to grow and see God work powerfully through me as I attend my second year of BSSM
- That God would us me to bring the people of San Francisco to come to know Him personally.
- For Azuza Now
– That God would move powerfully through this event
– For America that it would turn back to God
– For the people of Los Angeles that they would meet the God of the Bible
– For our teams as they minister to the over 100,000 people who will attend.
- For my 2016 that God would continue to mould me into who He created me to be!
God bless you!