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I love good kiwi (and australian) homegrown music.  Worship Central AUNZ is a collaborative collection of worship leaders and musicians from both nations who came together to write and record music that reflects our heartbeat.

I also love songs about the mercy of God.  I am so thankful for His grace and mercy so abundantly lavished upon me.  In my flaws I am covered by mercy.  In my sin I am forgiven by mercy.  In my everyday His mercy is there.

claire dp 1When I was 16 I lived in Blenheim and would get awesome summer jobs at fruit farms over the holidays.  One year I worked for The Jones Strawberry Farm picking strawberries, a delicious but back breaking job.  I then worked for an Apricot farmer, as a picker first of all, but then in the pack house because as we quickly discovered being near the ground is an excellent quality for a strawberry picker, not so great for an apricot picker.   My day revolved around sorting the fruit, packing the fruit, stacking the packs of fruit.  Sort, stack, pack.  I was the only one in the pack house and so spent long hot days sorting, stacking, packing.

On Tuesday a friend of mine shared a hilarious take on the myers briggs personality types on facebook – The post begins with “They say that one man’s heaven is another man’s hell and that couldn’t be truer when it comes to the sixteen Myers-Briggs Personality Types. Each one is inspired, enraged and absolutely tortured by something slightly different. Here’s the destiny that would psychologically destroy each Myers-Briggs Personality type.”

Im and ENFP and this is what it said about me.  Every minute of the rest of your life has been scheduled for you – and it’s a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks.

Sort. Pack. Stack.  By myself.  Sort. Pack. Stack.   For 2 long months.  Thankfully not the rest of my life.   The first few days of the job were great.  Good time to pray and think, I’m by myself, I can contemplate the great mysteries of the universe and dream and plan my future.  After about a week of sort, pack and stack, by myself, a long series of arbitrary, solitary tasks, I found myself going slightly cookcoo, because how many of you know, especially if you are an ENFP there is only so much deep and meaningful productive positive thinking you can do by yourself.. through another person in the mix and boom, you’re happy, but conversating with yourself, just isn’t the same. and contemplating what is the meaning of life.  The big questions.  What was I here for.  What is God’s plan for my life.  How will I get there.  Who am I, really.

Whether you’re in a job you hate or a job you love, whether you’re at school or uni, whatever stage of life you’re at these are important questions.  What does real living look like?  Because there is a difference between being alive and living, really living.

We can go through life, even successfully, ticking the boxes that define achievement for us, getting the great job, marrying the great person, having the great kids and the great cat and the great house, travelling to the great places etc etc but even that can miss the mark of what living really is.

 

Paul summed it up in 4 simple words in Philippians 1:21

To live is Christ.

This is one those rare times when Paul is brief.  Usually he has sentence with too many commas and plenty of detail and flesh.  But this one is 4 words.  To live is Christ.

 

In 2 Cor 5:15 he says  For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him.

This is the standard he is living by.  This is how he defines his life.  This is the mission statement that wraps parameters and boundaries around not only the big picture but also day to day.  Paul is saying that everything he has tried to be, everything he is, and everything he looked forward to being pointed to Christ. To live is Christ.

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I love the heart in this song.  To love others.  For mercy to triumph.  For people to see God and feel God THROUGH us.  That we, the children of God, would know God and make Him known.  That we would reflect His glory and grace.  To love with open arms, and erases all the lies, and sees the truth.  Beautiful.

Lyric videos make my heart happy.  Yes, thats seriously a thing!  Fonts.  Images.  I love it.  Is that weird?

I confess I got really excited about a new Kim Walker Smith album.  She has the most amazing voice and I just love her heart for Jesus!  I love this new album – love its musicality and heart.  Is very much an album that will stir your hunger and desire to see more and know more of God, to know Him and make Him known.

 

13 reasons

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or binge watching all 6 seasons of LOST) you would have heard of 13 Reasons Why. 13 Reasons Why has become the most watched series on Netflix of all time. That’s a whole lot of teens and peeps watching and talking about a show. The internet has been a buzz about whether or not teens should be watching this show. The show is raw and can be VERY TRIGGERING to teenager that struggles with any of the content matter, not to mention the mature nature of the show (language, bullying, sex, rape, and graphically shown suicide).

I haven’t said anything about it yet, because my laptop was broken and I need to type to think (vs you know, thumbs) but I’ve been reading and watching and thinking about it.

So what’s my thoughts on it all?

As a parent and youth pastor my heart hurts watching the show. For so many reasons. Firstly, I want you to know, whoever you are, that if you’re going through a hard time or a dark space and feel alone, you’re not. There are people who love you and care about you and want to try to help along the way. There is hope.

The show has so many “talking points” in it, things that I think are necessary to talk about (cyberbulling, sexual assult etc) – it shows things that I think are pretty realistic, albeit ugly, about high school life and the ins and outs of been a teen in today’s world. It shows us that little things, both good and bad can matter, and that what we say can really affect someone, again good and bad. Is that reason enough to watch it though?

BUT my heart hurt also because in some ways the show is deception dressed up in cool clothes.

My heart hurts because I am sure that there are people watching who identify with what is going on and then think that her way might be a viable option. Cool even.

My heart hurts because it gave no hope. No options. No tomorrows. The romanticizing of suicide and the total absence of intervention i.e. medical attention, professional counseling, etc., is what makes the series both dark and dangerous for those who are depressed, suicidal or have considered suicide as an option at some point in their life.

My heart hurt because I think the show has the potential to mess with people’s minds, hearts, emotions. Seriously.

I think this blogger said it well – “The message of “13 Reasons Why” is not one hope, optimism or reassurance, but of tragedy, grief and the urgent need for action. I think there’s plenty to be learned from the fictional but poignant story of Hannah Baker — especially for men and anyone unacquainted with the emotional and mental damage inflicted by casual misogyny and rape culture. However, for me, as a woman who has long battled depression and suicidal ideation, the show’s well-intentioned message about mental illness, bullying and sexism was not shocking but rather reaffirming of the dangerous ideals that have often left me feeling hopeless and alone. When I finished the show, I found myself drowning once again in toxic, dangerous thoughts.” https://themighty.com/…/should-i-watch-13-reasons-why-revi…/

If you’re a parent of a teenager then it’s a difficult view but could be informative. It’s a heads up of what can go on (from a negative bias of course).

But if you’re a teenager should you watch it…? I know all your friends will probably be raving about it. Have a strong think about it, a pray about it before doing it. But if you’re struggled with depression, anxiety, bullying, suicidal thoughts or mental illness I would suggest passing on this one. Because the show can trigger things in an unhelpful way. Make sense?

If you suffer from bullying, depression, suicidal thoughts – I beg you – talk to somebody immediately (a parent, sibling, grandparent, teacher, friend, youth pastor, coach, counselor). There is a God – and He loves you. You are awesome. You are beautiful. You matter. You are not alone. You are so very loved. You cannot be replaced. And help is available in abundance.

 Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
 Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
 Youthline: 0800 376 633
 Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
 Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (Monday – Friday, 1pm to 10pm, Saturday – Sunday, 3pm to 10pm)

https://nickwattssoulfood.com/…/netflixs-13-reasons-why-is…/

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