Fruit

things above

High School (Musical) September 26, 2009

Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

This is a blog I feel that I HAVE TO do, since it’s coming to the end of my high school days and it played such a big part in my life and in developing me into the me today.

Despite my incredible masculinity, I’m getting those feelings of nostalgia now and I’m quite sad that I’ll be leaving school soon. Right now, I’m imagining a generic high school graduation in a chick flick, where the “plastics” are all “im gonna miss you guyz so much ~`!! mwaz“. Maybe I don’t feel completely the same as them, but I will miss high school for sure. I’m also going to be bringing a camera to school for the last couple of weeks. You might be lucky to get into a picture with me ;). Or if you want, you can just ask to be in one with me because that will make me feel popular and make your photo look nice. Jokes.

And I really don’t know what I’m going to talk about in this post just yet or how short or long it will be but we’ll see what comes out.

Let’s have some small talk before I launch into it.

And this post is long long overdue so it turned out really really long. I was gonna combine this school blog with a blog about ISCF in school but ISCF will wait until next blog.

Carry on, as if nothing really matters.

(Saturday) Night Fever (Bee Gees)

Night of the post-HSC-trials party for Bob and friends (Gabriel, Andrew Tsang, Marcus, Justin, Kevin, Ruilong, Michael Liu) at my place. ‘Twas a great night with a lot of catching up, ending with Bob’s impromptu speeches which were incredible but I’ll just cut to the chase, especially because I know you (Bob) are reading this. You inspire me in the way you care for people and their wellbeing and their relationship with God. I would like to some day have the same heart to take a genuine interest in the lives of others and to also make such a great effort to stay in touch and build relationships with people, even after the stage when it’s easy to stay in touch (school). I think it’s really something that we can all work towards – being able to find and make time to maintain relationships with people. So thanks for the inspiration and example you set! (and as you would say, no homo)

Talking Bird (Death Cab For Cutie)

As you may or may not know (probably not unless you know me quite well), the backyard of my house is home to several ducks which enjoy basking in the sun (or any weather) on a hot day (or any day) around my swimming pool. In addition to defecating everywhere (yes, I said defecating), they make very loud quacking sounds and enjoy waking me up at 6am when the kids next door fail to do so. And as you may or may not know, my room happens to be at the back of the house, near the backyard. And as you may or may not know, I am not a morning person. At all. But let me continue my story…

I came home from school on Monday to find that two of the adult ducks had had nontuplets (is that right?). They had had NINE DUCKLINGS. And usually when we got anywhere near the ducks they would fly away but now the ducklings weren’t able to fly and the adult ducks were just being good protective parents by not flying away.

Well, mum was distraught and gave the ducks a very stern shouting at, so I’m sure they won’t cause any more trouble, since they are able to understand both Cantonese and gibberish.

Well, here is the video of them I took on my phone when I got home from school. First time I used moviemaker. Props to me and how great it is. It only took me forever to make. I dubbed over the sound with a track (which I hope you like) because I may or may not have made an inappropriate comment about eating 9 roast ducks and I don’t want the RSPCA on me. Siu Ngarp, yo.

Yeah, nothing really happens in the video and there really isn’t much point to it. I just film the ducks, zoom in on poo and then chase the ducks around a little. I also found it hilarious when they were swimming towards the filter but then I realised that if they were killed in there my dream of feasting on nine roast ducks after HSC would be shattered… (MLIA)

Sorry for the audio track. When I thought ducks, I thought Psyducks. And when I was running around trying to catch them, I thought gotta catch ’em all. Also, sorry again for the video. It’s horrible.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Heartless (thanks, Marcus;) )

As much as I dislike Taylor Swift’s music (apart from when anyone else covers her songs – e.g. Gabe Bondoc. Yum) and love Single Ladies, I am on Team Taylor! (oh dear)

Kanye might have some cool music sometimes (Flashing… LIGHTS?) but when it comes down to it, he is one of the biggest douchebags of all time. ONE OF THE BIGGEST DOUCHEBAGS OF ALL TIME!

I watched an episode of South Park before called “Fishsticks” which was hilarious because it bagged out Kanye’s gigantic ego, which you can watch here.

Motion Picture Soundtrack (Radiohead)

And on that note, let’s look at some slightly better videos. Lots of them. LOTS AND LOTS.

A play on a-ha’s “Take On Me” video:

A great stop motion:

This next video was the first video I favourited on YouTube (1:55 in and onwards is really really cool I think – he plays JT’s Like I Love You) and the artist was one of my first subscriptions. He still doesn’t have very many subscribers but I think he’s absolutely GREAT. He needs no percussionist:

Second video I ever favourited. Pretty stupid but pretty smart at the same time. Animation on album covers interacting with each other:

“HE wears short skirts and I wear T-shirts.” Taylor Swift has awesome male fans:

I don’t listen to Asian music, but I found this absolutely hilarious. Biggest boyband ever? And I thought boybands with four guys in them were bad enough. I also find it funny how in these Asian songs they sing random words in English. In this song, the words that I remember are “dance”, “hey!”, “oh!”, “baby”, “sorry” and “shawty”. This dance video had me cracking myself for a long while. Sorry if you actually like their music and my comments are… offensive to you. But I loved this video. The straightness levels in it were through the floorboards.

And a parody of it:

My Sharona (The Knack)

Phat put up giant posters of our very own uptown girl, Sharon, all around the common room. It was funny and I enjoyed it. Sharon did not. She used her biceps to tear them down. O-oh girls don’t wanna have fu-un. These kinds of things make last days at school nice. πŸ˜€

Visit Belle‘s blog for pictures of the day.

Karma Police (Radiohead)

Hawhawhawhaw. We are all phans of Phat. The Big Weeze split his pants and Deva scored an own goal. And later on Kris scored an own goal.

Thashan, Peter and myself also had a team for 3 on 3, which was made (in my opinion) for the sole purpose of beating Phat. We did and then we proceeded to win a lot more and made it to semifinals before forfeiting for the prefect luncheon. So worth it. Thashan’s pose would never have happened if we didn’t forfeit.

The End (The Beatles)

Oh dear, I’m getting sad again that school is almost over. I won’t lie, I’m incredibly sad that school is finishing and it’s something that I’m having a lot of trouble taking off my mind. I’m going to go grab some ice cream and then let’s just get this blog about school over and done with. I’m still straight.

Easy come, easy go, little high, little low.

Another stage of life is coming to an end (the following post may be emo).

High School has been a place of many highs and many lows but I must say the highs far far far outweigh the lows. Kind of like how Kris outweighs everyone (my bad).

In year 6, I was either going to go to James Ruse, Baulkham Hills or Knox Grammar (I had a scholarship to Knox). So I think I was quite ecstatic when I got the selective schools letter which told me I had made it to Ruse, which meant I wouldn’t be going to Knox, as the positives of going to a co-ed school + not having to wear straw hats and tip my straw hat when passing ladies on the street is far better than the positives of private school facilities!

This is a bit of what I remember in terms of each year at school.

These are the memoirs of a Geisha.

Year 7

All about cliques. Obviously, with my dashing features, I was one of the “plastics”. Kidding. Joined the basketballers after a little bit and that’s where I hung out most days. Still do, actually. From what I remember, the ballers who were there in year 7 when I first went were Michael Li (maen), James Tang (had flat hair back then), John (was miniscule), Bryan (was straight πŸ˜‰ ), Mert (not at Ruse any more) and then the group eventually expanded until at some stage in year 8-9, half the guys (maybe more, my memory fails me) in the grade were there. Then it slowly died down again to a more normal size. I still like this group and although I don’t like the title of being “one of the ballers”, I guess it’s not so bad knowing that I’ve been in that same group since year 7. And also being a member of the only successful Ruse out of school basketball team is pretty sweet too (no, coming 3rd in the worst division doesn’t count as successful).

The change from primary school education system to the high school one was pretty hard but I quite enjoyed it, since there was so much variety. Having to change classes every 40-45 minutes was quite fun. And even though I never studied at all until probably year 11, I found stuff that I was good (or competent at least) at. In year 7 that was maths and geography and PE prac and music I think (probably not, my memory fails again).

7K. Rassack Pride (for sure πŸ˜‰ ). Loved this class. ‘Twas awesome.

Year 8

I chose Japanese so I ended up in 8A, with all the Deutchlandish people in 8K. I think I quite liked Japanese (not enough to pick it the next year, though). I don’t have too many vivid memories of year 8. I do remember I dropped about 100 ranks from year 7 in maths, though. And they still invited me to maths enrichment in year 9 after I was ranked horribly, just because I aced the Westpac comp. I declined. Got hated on. Woo!

I remember Visual Arts (or I do NOW, anyway. I had a look at my VAPD recently. I’m glad not too many of you saw it :D). I couldn’t be bothered for a lot of it (highlighter borders) but then towards the end of the year, I was getting good marks so I tried a little harder and ended up coming 3rd, which was pretty sweet. And I remember I drew Derek Zoolander’s Blue Steel and I’m quite sure I still have that!

The name “Simy” originated from year 8. Some 8A people seem to remember how it came about, even after I refused to remind them. There was a substitute PE teacher we had for quite a while and for some unknown reason she enjoyed getting me to lead stretches and demonstrate stretches and stuff (looking back on this, it’s actually REALLY creepy). And one day she called me “Simy” and I believe that not everyone noticed. But I DO remember looking at Bryan, who giggled at me, like a girl. Tribal dancing was also fun. We had the super-special-sub from another school. 8A, “Slow… slow… basketball, basketball, basketball DREEBOOL.” Awkward turtle if you have no clue what I’m on about.

Year 8. The musical the school did was Les Miserables. It was INCREDIBLE. The best musical I have seen from Ruse BY VERY VERY FAR and I’ve seen 6 now. I’m now a big big Les Mis fan and I listen to it a tonne. Our grade’s was next best for sure, though.

Year 9

I got put into 9C, which I initially wasn’t too happy with. Out of the dudes, I knew Joseph and that was about it. But it’s alright because little did I know but Anthony Le (more commonly known now as “Phat”) was also in this class! He became my go-to-move in work if I couldn’t do it. My year 9 class was pretty allstar, as it had… lots of allstars. Year 9 was interesting because it was the first time AK people had any classes with LT people and it was around this time that everyone got to know who everyone was. Before year 9, I had never seen some of the people in my grade, except for in school photos. But yes, year 9 was the time AK and LT started mingling and ohoho plenty of gossip to go around!

Overall, I think the transition from year 8 to year 9 is probably the best grade transition (well for me, anyway) in high school for a few reasons:

  • mingling – meeting and talking to people who I previously didn’t know or had never seen
  • sports on Wednesdays – obvious reasons
  • elective subjects
  • substantial increases in maturity levels all around for previously immature males occur around this time (yes, I just said that), which made them easier to hang around and talk to. However, this was not always the case. πŸ˜›

The electives I chose were visual arts and drama. I dropped drama after a couple weeks because I didn’t enjoy my teacher too much, nor did I enjoy the subject as much as I thought I would. I changed from drama to commerce, which in hindsight, was a good choice. Even though I don’t do economics now, I happened to be very good at commerce for year 9-10 and did amazingly well in exams without having to study for it (also owe it to Ms Connors for being the far superior teacher).

Visual arts. My favourite subject from year 9-10. Lots of friends in this class (dudes in the class were me, Deva, James, Jero, Bryan, Vinson), a relaxed environment, fun and not so stressful work. Excursions to the city where we would go to our Hungry Jacks with all the vintage posters and items. Awesome. Some good good good times. But since it was now an elective subject, I could no longer use highlighter borders. I had to try slightly harder, so I moved onto using coloured pencils for the borders, which took so much more effort! I remember that I aced photography in year 9 VA. And my camera skills are evident in my adept luvos of late.

English. I remember I had Ms Mayers, one of the most awesome teachers in James Ruse. I don’t really remember too much about this class, except that we had to rewrite and perform our modern versions of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. And since I just went through and found it (because I didn’t remember what it was for), I’ll upload this script I dreamt up HERE. I remember Mayers loved it and asked me what kind of girls I hung out with. Awkward. Here it is (don’t judge me): script for the balcony scene

I remember that in year 9 I had Mrs Chan for maths. She didn’t learn my name the entire year but could name every other person in the class. She did make a big effort to learn my name in the last week or so of the year but she was unsuccessful. In year 11 when I moved up a maths class into her Maths 4, she learnt and remembered my name on my first lesson with her, since I had to be good at maths to move up to her class and I guess teachers find it a lot easier to remember the names of good students (which of course, I still am).

3 on 3 basketball was quite the funny. Bryan and I took Jo Zhang and Jimmy (who were in year 7 back then) to be on our team and we made it to the finals, where on the last play we were down 3. Jo had the ball and Bryan and I were open on the perimeter, waiting for the pass. Jo took a turn around fadeaway and swished it! To lose by one. Yayyyyyy! Hehehe ’twas fun. He’s a savage beast now.

Year 10

Hohoho. Big year for everyone! Last year in junior uniform and the ever dreaded School Certificate, right?

Kidding? Yes, I am. Nobody cared about School Cert. This was the year of the first formal! The whole half of the second year was dedicated to the formal and all the gossip surrounding it. Looking back, it was quite funny hearing all these stories about what was going on and who was asking who and so on and so forth. With so many tears and so much controversy for so many people who were desperately trying their luck to find love a date (yes, I onlyΒ  did that because I just discovered the strikethrough tool), it was the main, nay, ONLY topic of discussion for this year. When I think about it now, I don’t know why everyone was so desperate to have a date to the formal. Did people look like losers if they didn’t have someone of the opposite sex sitting on the table next to them? Oh well, they were some good times I must say! So much less talk of the formal going on this year. Or maybe I’m just very out of it now (probably this). πŸ˜€

I remember the day after the formal, lots of people didn’t turn up to school because they were like, so totally wasted from sitting next to someone of the opposite sex all night. But the great Deva came to school, completely wasted from going to bed at 11:45pm, a whole 7 hours over his bed time! Kudos! But it was so worth it. The select few of us who came to school got to witness Don dunking for the first time at school with his cast still on. OHHHHH’s ensued.

So what else happened this year? Not much that I can remember. I wrote a short story for the yearly english exam which got 20/20. It was about a boy who farted in class, when the girl of his dreams said hi to him. I recently dug it up again and read it. It was… interesting. I shall upload it in a later blog when I find it again under my piles of grot on my table.

Ooooh I remember now! Best part of this year was most definitely the camp I went on: ISCF Leadership Conference, which is, to this day, by far the BEST camp I have been on. Well, I originally wrote something about it here but I’ll save it for the next blog when I talk about ISCF.

This was supposedly the last year of school fun and in many ways it turned out to be that. It was the last year that I didn’t study for my exams and the last year before stress kicked in but then it’s not like year 11-12 wasn’t any fun for me, being the party animal I am. πŸ˜‰

Year 11-12

These two years have most definitely been the best two years of my life so far for many many reasons. I won’t go through all of them because I can’t.

This period of time has definitely had the most downs but it has also had the most ups by far. When I look back on the rest of my life, on the 16 other years besides these last two, I find the 16 years so mediocre in comparison to these last two.

I’ll start with subjects:

For year 11, I chose 3U maths, 3U english, biology, PDHPE, geography, agriculture (accelerated). 14 units. Yeah, baby.

Year 12: 4U maths, 3U english, biology, PDHPE, completed agriculture (year 11), geography dropped. Relax. πŸ˜€

Chemistry: No, I did not choose chemistry. I find it to be irrelevant. And it’s not needed for medicine so there we go. πŸ˜€

Maths: Unjustly placed in maths 5 after acing placement tests the year before. But oh well. Worked hard and killed the first exam and got to move up to maths 4, which was the strike zone for 4U maths! And did enough to make it to 4U maths, thank goodness. I don’t particularly like 4U maths. It involves too much work to be good at and I don’t have the kind of work ethic to practise it every day and find it enjoyable, or bearable and it is therefore done purely for scaling. Yes, I said it. 3U maths is quite alright though. I can improvise most of it in the exam and still get a good mark. All in all, I think maths is just there for getting an ATAR. πŸ˜€

3U english: I quite like 3U english (if maybe just comparing to 2U). I’ve had quite good teachers and the exam is just one essay and one creative writing (ew, creative), so there’s not much to it. It’s a little hard to be good at it but it will be so worth it if it can cover for my 2U english.

2U english: Possibly the worst subject ever invented. Four essays, one creative, one comprehension? Are you kidding? That’s just way not cool. And module B, learning something like seven or eight speeches, only to use two? Ew. I would recommend for you not to do this subject if you’re not in year 12 yet… but I can’t.

Agriculture: Hehe. Good for HSC experience, if nothing else (or maybe good for setting you up to take it easy in year 12 if you’re a complete gun and can get an awesome mark in it). I didn’t find the syllabus particularly interesting (plants, animals, other stuff that I forget) and the scaling was horrible. Ag excursion was okay. I remember taking a bunch of angry luvos to imitate… no one. πŸ˜‰ Actually, no, the excursion was horrible. Subject was horrible. But I do have a memory of the day of the HSC exam. Wednesday and most of us were skipping sport because we had an HSC exam to do right after it. Except for Bryan (and I think Jero too). Bryan walks in while we’re all filling out our numbers and names and stuff, getting ready to start. Sorry, Bryan STROLLED in, swagger phenomenal, wifebeater disgusting and dripping. Bryan had sucked at ag the rest of the year but managed to drop a 94 in the HSC (after balling) to tie with the huge chunk of us at a total of 92. Monstrous. Ameya came second in the state. Shame, really. πŸ˜€

Geography: Hawhaw. I was good in year 10, so I chose it. 8 periods a fortnight, which gave me two random free periods. Partay! It was horrible. I dropped it. Excursion to PENRITH? Yes, that’s just how bad it was: I ended up in Thashan’s hood by doing the subject. And I got to look at the water there. Lovely. After dropping it, I had 10 frees! And after ag finished, I had FIFTEEN frees (as well as four less morning classes). Good good times they were.

Biology: Hawhaw loved it. I liked what I learnt in biology, especially about evolution and natural selection because I was always interested to see how all of that could fit in with the Bible and Creationism (might blog about this some day). But yeah, I’ve done well in this subject, besides the trials where I just didn’t study very much. But overall, I have loved biology and there are things in it that I’ll continue to learn after I’m done with school because I like it that much (whereas I plan on never doing any hard maths ever again. And I plan on burning everything 2U english related unless I have to return it to school). I’m sure that a lot of the biology stuff will also come in handy in medicine (“maintaining a balance” and “search for better health” at least). My favourite subject. More guys should do it. It’s manly. πŸ˜‰

PDHPE: Love this subject too! Well. 3/4 of it. The topic on health is possibly the worst thing ever invented after 2U english. But the topics on sports med and performance are awesome. Although there wasn’t as much prac as in junior years, LEARNING the theory behind prac for me was very very enjoyable. And the overkill 5000 word assignments weren’t bad either.Β  Even when I don’t study very much for PE I end up doing okay because a lot of it is similar to biology and can make things up based on my bio knowledge. It’s quite alright! Even though the class dropped from about 25 people to our little class of 7, that isn’t a bad thing. I think our class is quite the awesome (besides Angelina, who sucks. Jokes. Sort of. πŸ˜‰ ) and class itself is very very fun, especially with the ever loved prizes, which we compete for with so much intensity!

Studying has been a lot more intense than every other year, since these exams actually count towards something in life (although I’m sure studying has been less intense for me than others) and I haven’t worked this hard before but I’m sure that it will just be more work in uni. But I guess that is okay. I think that being in Ruse kind of prepares you for the studying in uni, since everyone in Ruse studies and you’re pressured to do the same. Having said that, I think that being in Ruse also under-prepares you on a social level for a lot of people because as Ruse people, we don’t know too many people who aren’t on a relatively high level of intellect. But I got the thumbs up at a camp last Summer holidays, when people I met were in shock when I told them I was from Ruse and they thought I was way too normal for that. Score! πŸ˜€

I think the single greatest thing about year 11-12 (or at least within our grade) is that just about everyone puts aside most of the bitchiness and matures, since they’re becoming adults. Everyone gets along, even if they don’t hang out and stuff, there isn’t hate between people and I think that is by far the best thing about being in year 11-12. Before senior years, I had my group that I hung out with and then a few people who I was close to, whereas now, the playing field has been somewhat leveled out. I still have people I’m close to and the people I hang out with but the OTHERS aren’t just people who roam the school.

So even though everyone says “ENJOY JUNIOR YEARS BLAHBLAHBLAH”, it doesn’t mean that older years aren’t good. In fact, they are WAY BETTER if you spend them in the right way. Older years just means less of school left, which means there is less of it to enjoy.

James Ruse

I honestly think that Mr Wearne was SPOT ON when he said that it was the James Ruse atmosphere which made it great. Over the years, I’ve felt this atmosphere in Ruse, where people just get along in general (although I’ve felt it much less in later years). But still, I don’t think that in other schools, you know who so many people are in other grades and everyone is just (generally) nice to each other.

When I first got to Ruse, I thought that it wasn’t so great. Everyone seemed so smart and seemed to be so into doing work, the bunch of nerds. But I very quickly came to love the school for everything in it, especially the people and the Christian groups (next blog). And even though I haven’t really made too much of an effort to meet people over the years and I COULD know a lot more people in Ruse, I’m definitely more than satisfied with the people I know and am friends with.

However, I am glad that I am leaving this year. I think that the school has got progressively worse, as a result of new management. It’s just my opinion, but I think the school functioned much better a few years ago. A lot of screwups that happen in the school would never have happened a few years ago. When I see newspaper articles now about Ruse, I can honestly see why people get a negative picture of the school. It’s comments like the ones in the paper which make people think we’re a bunch of douchebags after nothing but a good HSC pass to go into medicine or law. So for reasons like this, I am glad to leave now before it gets worse and I feel sorry for grades to come if it continues to get worse. They’re in for one long and crappy ride.

But aside from the small amount of hate in regards to that, I LOVE James Ruse. (EDIT: FORGOT TO INCLUDE THIS) Even though, as I mentioned before, I’m not friends with EVERYONE and I don’t know EVERYONE, I really am grateful that you’re IN James Ruse. Because it’s the PEOPLE that make James Ruse an awesome place. And not just the people I know or am friends with. So to everyone in Ruse, your mere presence in the school has made it James Ruse and that in itself, is a wonderful thing. I really do think that James Ruse wouldn’t be what it is without each and every one of you. I really will miss the school and especially all of you.

Ruse ’09.

Just gotta get out, just gotta get right out of here.

It is time to move on. This stage of life is ending but of course, a new one is beginning.

I’ve pretty much decided that I will do medicine no matter what. And I will do it without having to move away. I applied for UWS and UNSW medicine and I was very happy with my UMAT (no UMAT training represent, yo) and my ATAR is still okay, so I have two interviews to look forward to. It would be very preferable to get into UNSW, since it’s… not UWS but I’ll take UWS if I can’t get UNSW, even though the transport will be horrible. But if I don’t make either, then I reckon I’ll do medical science (3 more years of… school? Ew.) at USyd and then do medicine there as a postgraduate degree. It might take a little bit longer but I think that USyd would be great so it has its ups too, I guess. But whatever happens, I trust that it is God’s will.

Any way the wind blows…

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Trials and JOY September 1, 2009

I’m back!

(A gentleman’s agreement!) Huzzah!

A few hundred views in just a few days! AND QUITE A FEW OF THEM ARE IN AMERICA! LIKE 20 OR MORE! I’M SO EXCITED (if you American viewers see this, it would make me beyond giddy if you dropped me a little comment or something ;))!!! Yes, I am quite liking the attention! πŸ˜‰ But even more than the attention, I’m liking that people have enjoyed reading and are challenged by some of the ideas I put forward and I hope that I can keep up with the thought provoking posts. I’ve liked the fact that people have been commenting and also asking me questions and discussing things with me after reading these blogs, so feel free to do that too because I’d be very happy to talk to you! And I’m quite surprised and happy that people bothered to read my 3000+ word post. Props to you. You guys might get lucky with a shorter one this time. But then again, you might not. πŸ˜€

Well, yeah I’m 2000 words in right now and it’s not looking like it’s going to finish soon. Unlucky. πŸ˜›

I plan for this post to be about HSC trials, trials in life and joy (hopefully I won’t go off on a tangent again. I’ll just be normal. /end Ringo’s lame maths joke). A sort of continuation from my last post. So if you haven’t read that and have a few years to spare, you may do so! πŸ˜€

Okay. Following this post, my blogs will probably be much less regular until after HSC finishes (and they might not all be so… sermon style. They might be more personal – I said in blog #1 that this blog is really meant for me, so some of my posts might just be like a diary on how I’m going. But of course you’re welcome to read it; that’s why I’m posting it publicly). And even after HSC finishes they might still not be so frequent, depending on how much time I have. Sorry, fans. πŸ˜›

Kidding. About the fans bit.

If I remember, here is the word count: 3312 (sorry again :P)

Again, small talk comes first.

Jibber-Jabber

Australian Idol

Okay, I thought I did enough hating last blog on this. But I watched some of the wildcards show tonight (the people the judges thought were good but didn’t get through) and it was HORRIBLE. AND to make it worse, the judges don’t seem to notice just how out of tune everyone is! Even Dicko seems to be lax with the criticism, telling them that he hopes they go through because they’re great lalala. Now I don’t know if all the TVs in my house have their sound screwed up but I think this show is horrible right now. Haterade tastes so good.

YouTube

Luigi. The forgotten brother.

Painting Mona Lisa on MS Paint. Who needs Photoshop anyway?

Speaking of Photoshop, here is the most awesome Photoshopper. Time lapse Photoshop painting of Slash from Guns N’ Roses:

My favourite pianist on YouTube. David sides is incredible. RIP MJ.

Despite my recent surge of Love Story videos, no, I’m still not a fan. I’m a fan of this man, though. Mmmmmm, Gabe Bondoc. Hi Emma. πŸ˜‰

This man too. Chris Cendana.

Music

Just eBay’ed Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream ($6.25). End CD drought. Now to wait for it to arrive.

Anyway, get VeggieTales – Silly Songs With Larry. It’s about $5 at Koorong and is amazing if you’re a fan of the show. Best lyrics evaHz~`!

Love My Lips:

“She had a beard and it felt weird”

Yep. πŸ˜‰

Funny Picture

Get it? ;)

Get it? πŸ˜‰

Blog: Act I, Scene iii – HSC Trials, Life Trials, Our JOY

My horrible introduction

Enter Year 12 STUDENT, EXAMS

STUDENT: Why, O why?

Exams, thou hast left me to die!

EXAMS: [inanimate]

STUDENT: O, thou detest me, HSC Trials!

Why must thou be’ist as bad as this year’s Australian Idols?

(I apologise for the reference. I can hear Idol outside right now. Someone’s singing Kelly Clarkson. It’s not pretty)

EXAMS: [still inanimate]

STUDENT: Be this the end of mine world?

Thou makest me hurl!

Cursed be thee, exams of hours three,

Thou makest me needeth to pee!

Enter TEACHER

TEACHER: Commenceth thy reading,

Of five minutes only you will be needing.

Enter GOD (and exeunt horrible attempt at writing Shakespeare. Yep, I’m a dorkataur. I don’t care if I hate Shakespeare, that guy was incredible at writing in this horrible English. Don’t know how he did it)

GOD: Where am I in all this? Did I not tell you not to worry? Did I not tell you to set your mind on things above, not on earth?

Exams! Stress! Why?

A lot of the time, it seems that our Christian lives are based on what is happening around us in the world. Maybe we tend to forget God in times of stress because there is just no time for Him. Or maybe we tend to forget God when things are going fine and only turn to Him when we feel we need to. I know that in the past, I have often forgotten God during exams if I was studying (or try to study, at least). I would pray to Him only when I wasn’t coping well and I would skip church every now and then if I had exams or assignments due the next day. But is this the right attitude to be taking?

I will expand on this in my blog but I’ll just say it now. NO. I had the wrong attitude towards study and God in these times.

Stress? Well, I don’t think there is anything wrong with a little bit of stress. If you’re not stressed in the slightest thenI guess you wouldn’t be studying or caring about how you do, so I’d say a little stress is healthy for doing well in exams and such. But I would say that TOO much stress for exams is not good, especially if it means neglecting God in any way, which I think is what happens a lot of the time when stress kicks in. Bible reading, prayer, quiet times seem to become scarce or non-existent.

Why do we stress and get anxious? I learnt in PE that our anxiety level is a combination of TRAIT anxiety (how stressed we get because of the person we are) and STATE anxiety (our reaction to the given stimulus – i.e. exams). So although a little anxiety is probably unpreventable, I’d say that we are able to change how much this stimulus affects us. It depends how we look at these exams and how important they are to you. As year 12 goes on, the assessments become “more important”, as they have higher weighting on them than the previous ones. This happens the whole year until HSC trials, the biggest internal exams. And then the dreaded HSC, which is worth just as much as your entire year’s worth of school assessments. And as I mentioned in my previous blog, marks lead to ATAR, which leads to course in university, which leads to job, which leads to money, which leads to… NOTHING, and then death.

So the extent of stress which you experience as a result of assessments is not really because assessments are THAT stressful, but is because we see the course we do at university as something of importance in our lives. I also mentioned in my previous blog that God told us not to worry about things of this world but to have our minds set on things above. If we trust in God, we really shouldn’t be worrying about earthly things such as marks, since our citizenship is in heaven and we should be focusing instead on that (Philippians 3:20). But okay, I guess it’s accepted that we care about what course we do, since we want to do a job that we will enjoy and/or earn us enough money for our needs (or maybe even getting a course that will help you to serve God, which is awesome). We live in this world are are attached to it to some extent. We also can’t be “Amish”-like and just not be part of the world at all, since that would mean we can’t relate to anyone at all (I will probably discuss this in a future blog on worldliness). So then, we can see times of stress as trialing times (no pun on HSC trials intended).

Parents – feedback from previous blog

I had an interesting conversation with someone (I’ll leave you unnamed unless you want me to put your name here – give me a shout) about parents after they read my last blog. We talked about how parents want the best for us and I think that is very true for most people, no matter how hard it is to see it. They might do things which make you wonder how they can love you and care about you in any way but to them it is for your benefit. For example, when you were little, if you were ever punished for doing something “wrong”, you didn’t realise it at the time but your parents were disciplining you so that you wouldn’t do it again and you would therefore, improve. Although sometimes when I hear of parents punishing their kids for certain things which I find unworthy of punishment (e.g. grounding children in the holidays for not doing well in exams), I only find it unreasonable because I don’t understand where they’re coming from. Many parents don’t know anything more than providing a means for their child to earn money, and that is the best they can do for their child. That probably involves pressuring you to do well if your parents have that mindset or a similar one, so although I might have sounded hateful before, I really don’t promote hate towards these parents. I think that having a good relationship with your parents is extremely important no matter how much your views clash with theirs (I’m not intentionally referencing Module C, sorry). They’re not going to be around forever.

My personal experience with previous exams (HSC Trials covered later, keep reading)

I mentioned in my previous blog that I have never been pressured to do well in exams. If I wanted pressure, I had to bring it upon myself. So I think that if I didn’t go to James Ruse or a similar school, I probably would have never done well and it’s only because everyone else is working so hard and wanting to do well that I’ve come to a habit of putting in at least a little bit of effort for exams (at least for year 11 and 12). I also mentioned earlier in this post that in year 11 and 12 I’ve been stressed at times and this has affected my life as a Christian. I saw doing well in assessments as being of a higher priority than spending time with God but this just goes to show how worldly I am.

For the first two lots of year 12 assessments, I did really well. Heck, I aced the exams by my standards and came out with a real snazzy UAI estimate. And then in the third term of assessments, I was really looking to do well so I could maintain this. But then I got really sick before the exams (as I always do), which got me really stressed because HOW WAS I GOING TO DO WELL NOW? I ended up being too sick to do four of my scheduled exams and they had to be done later on. I found it really hard to study because I was so sick and I couldn’t concentrate and my stress was really kicking in. I was in a horrible horrible horrible mood during exams as a select few of you might know, especially when I got one of my maths exams back and I found out I had accidentally left out half a section in it (I also did this in the previous exam, I rock. :D) and ended up failing. In general, I did much worse in this set of exams than my previous ones and was really hoping that I got compensation marks for being sick on the days. But then I was scheduled to do my talk for ISCF the next week and there was a part of it that was on being joyful always.

Joy in trials, joy in suffering, joy in everything

Because joy is such a large large topic I will probably be coming back to it a lot in future blog posts, since it’s not possible to cover it in my oh so short few thousand word posts. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, I found that through that time of stress in those exams, I was not joyful at all. I was feeling bitter and probably resentful towards a lot of things, including resentment towards God. Did I have any rational reason for it? Not at all! After being cheered up after my fail in maths (hehe thank you, that person ;)), I went home and had a while to eat ice cream and have alone time to think. I figured that I had the wrong attitude and approach to these exams. I was placing this worldly thing above God and not trusting in God at all. Why was I getting so worked up about just one set of exams anyway? I was placing my trust in marks to get me through in life, rather than the one who created me to get me through.

Really, I shouldn’t have seen exams as something SO important that would make me place it above God. There is NOTHING which is THAT important. In fact, we should see trials and suffering (suffering doesn’t necessarily refer to physical torture and stuff, it can be anything that puts you through stress) as something to be joyful about if you place your trust in God! The talk that I gave at ISCF was on 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, and in verse 16, there is a command to “be joyful always”.

There are many instances in the Bible which talk about joy in trials: James 1:2-3, 12 talks about considering it pure joy when we are face with trials, as the testing of our faith brings about perseverance and that someone who perseveres in this regard will receive God’s reward of eternal life. A friend I met at ISCF Leadership Conference a couple years back (Ed Sowden) wrote a great little article on fervr on this pure joy, which you can read here. Another part of the Bible which talks about joy is Romans 5:1-11, which demonstrates this chain: suffering -> perseverance -> character -> hope – and what is this hope? The hope of eternal life with God, which we rejoice (have joy) in. We should ALWAYS have joy, no matter what the circumstance is. Sure, it’s okay to feel down over certain things at times but it’s important to step back and see the bigger picture. The things that get us down are worldly but what can change the joy we have in the hope of eternal life? Nothing at all! Jesus has ALREADY died and saved us from eternal punishment, so this hope of eternal life isn’t going anywhere: it’s been DONE! So with this undying hope, we have undying joy! So these trials and this suffering that we go through in school and in life… we have nothing to be bitter about. In fact, we should be joyful during these times and in ALL times because we know that we are saved and we have eternity, rather than this broken temporary world to look forward to!

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 says to pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances. Even with things putting you down, there are ALWAYS things which you can thank God for. For example, when I was sick and not doing as well as I liked in exams, I could have been thankful that I wasn’t SO sick I couldn’t function (I didn’t have swine flu, thank God), no matter how badly I think I do in exams, I still go to Ruse and it’s only because my standards are so high that I’m disappointed. I could have thanked God for every new day, for family and friends, I could have thanked God for Jesus (as we should every day), that he took the punishment for us so that we could have salvation. There are so many things that we can thank God for, no matter what the circumstance is. In the Bible, Job is a man who is righteous and does no wrong but suffers immensely, both physically and mentally – his children die and his wealth disappears, amongst many other things (can’t remember exactly, I haven’t read it in a long while). However, instead of cursing God, he seeks to find out what he HIMSELF did wrong. He praises God, saying that he knows his Redeemer lives. Job perseveres through all the suffering and trials he is put through. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all have an attitude like this – unconditionally loving and praising God, no matter what the circumstance?

HSC Trials Review

So a few weeks ago year 12’s everywhere had the HSC trials. So these were THE exams, which were apparently meant to be the most stressful of all exams in the first 18 years of life. But this was probably the least stressed I’ve been for any exams in the last couple of years. Why? Because I didn’t see the exams as being as important this time. Things were going well in life and I found that it really wasn’t that essential to stress so much over the exams, as long as I placed my trust in God to provide for me. This doesn’t mean that I can just not study and ask God to pull me through and give me full marks: I think it is more a commensal relationship, where both God and myself are working (you reap what you sow).

So, unlike before, I looked at the assessments as not something which was there to bring me down but as something which was there to build me up in perseverance. It was something that would test my faith and trust in God and something to have joy in. I stepped back for once and saw the bigger picture: these exams didn’t REALLY matter in the long run, since this period was just a bump in the road and what really matters is remaining in God in faith through these times.

So with this new attitude, I was determined not to have assessments get me down, no matter what the outcome. I’ve received almost all my results now and even though I haven’t done as well as I maybe could have if I studied harder or had a clearer mind during exams, I’m not complaining or sulking. I’m satisfied with my results because I know that they are only temporary, like the rest of the world. So I hope that I can carry this same attitude through my life and not be sucked into worrying about earthly things.

It is only recently that I’ve had this attitude and it has brought me quite a lot of joy in life. I highly recommend it. πŸ˜›

Applying it:

  • What do you worry about? What is important to you? If you’re in year 12 then it is most likely the HSC. If you’re not, it might be work, or parents, or relationships or anything. How important is this world to you in comparison to eternity with God? Have a think about why it is important to you and whether this thing you’re worrying about has been impacting your relationship with God (either positively or negatively).
  • Think about what you are thankful for. There are ALWAYS things that you can thank God for.
  • Pray to God – always give thanks and bring before Him EVERYTHING. If you want your relationship with God to work or improve, you need to communicate through prayer.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading. You’re redonkulous.

 

Parents-studying-money, treasures and JOY August 29, 2009

Wowza.

I really didn’t think I would have people reading my last blog. But I checked and less than a day after I posted my first blog and I have 150 views for my blog (that actually excites me :D), so hopefully some of them stayed for the partay and read the RICE blog. I also didn’t know that this blogging gig could take up so much time. I spent two nights writing the blog and another whole night publishing it and figuring out how to use WordPress, only because I’m just THAT good with technology. Yeah, it’s quite the time suck. I’ll see how frequently I can pump out these blogs but this one will probably take me a few days to finish again because I’m great!

At the moment, I plan for this to be a blog about HSC trials and the way in which we and our parents treat exams and school and things but we’ll see how that goes. Again, let’s get the small talk out of the way first. I realise half way (no idea if it actually IS half way) through writing this blog it will be INSANELY LONG. I have a lot to say about these things. Please take the time to read it, even though it is long. I’ll update this paragraph with a word count (if I remember) of this blog after I’m done typing it up. Okay: 3226 words. You readers got screwed. πŸ˜›

The chit chat

Public Enemies

Watched this on Wednesday, since it was after trials and partay time had commenced. I won’t spoil it. I’ll just say I didn’t enjoy it that much. The movie had quite some potential with Johnny Depp and Christian Bale being the two main actors. I thought that some parts of the movie were pretty cool and Johnny Depp’s character was cocky beyond belief, it was great. Ending was extraordinarily disappointing but what can you do it’s a historical film… But then they made the ending of the movie worse than what happened in history in my opinion, which was just… stupid. Hopefully when I watch Inglourious Basterds next week I come out not feeling cheated of $14.

Australian Idol

Haven’t followed this year as closely as other years but from what I’ve seen, it seems like the country is out of good idol contestants. Singing is mediocre for everyone and everyone in the top whatever isn’t unique in any way. They’re all just inferior replicas of previous contestants or existing artists. And they refuse to sing songs that weren’t written in the last ten or so years. They just sing Kings of Leon and Coldplay so I’m really not interested or impressed in the slightest. But I hear there’s some dude who did Bohemian Rhapsody well, so I guess I’ll check this guy out some day. Otherwise, mediocre. I’m sippin’ on that haterade.

YouTube (I think I’ll put about 3-5 videos per post from now)

Some day I’m going to go through all my YouTube favourites on my blog. But here are just a few:

TMNT – Donatello gets screwed. I particularly liked this because I had always wondered why Donatello was the ugliest colour and why he had the odd name out of everyone and how he ended up with a stick as a weapon (although it is quite a strong stick which can withstand hits from swords. Yep, I’m a nerd). And I thought Master Splinter was done awesomely in the video hehe (warning: video is very rude and crude if you’re not in the mood)

Everyone has probably watched this by now, but after so long I still can’t get over its awesomeness, especially since I really can’t listen to Taylor Swift without gagging.

And the brand new one of it, which is probably even better.

HSC English creative writing tasks? Agreed.

Japanese game show. Ten ten. Ten ten ten ten ten ten …….

One of my favourite YouTube music artists. Man-crush-worthy, I’d say. You had me at “‘ello”.

Music (don’t know, I might decide to do proper album reviews some day if I’m that good at procrastinating)

Still in a CD-buying drought. I may quite possibly come out of it soon.

But I am loving Radiohead right now, especially “The Bends” (the most recent Radiohead album I bought). Great album with quite a few big hits (High And Dry, Fake Plastic Trees, Just). And this band is just that much cooler since they released “In Rainbows” for free a while back.

Blog: Act I, Scene ii

Parents&studying – what is important in life, HSC Trials review,Β  and JOY (very briefly – TBC in a later entry)

Okay. Well, after doing what I thought would be the first half of this blog, It ended up with almost 3000 words and if I went on any longer this blog would probably be unreadable (it’s probably already very difficult), so to save everyone from further pain, I’ll review HSC trials and continue on joy in my next entry, unless I go off on a tangent again like this time. πŸ˜€

My intro into my own experiences with “studying”

Week after HSC trials finished. I’m writing this now, the day that I presented my English speech, the last ever James Ruse HSC assessment task I’ll ever have to do. Now, just the HSC to go, which is about… 7 or so weeks away? Plenty plenty time to procrastinate now (by writing blogs).

Before doing the trials, I had always been told that it would be the MOST STRESSFUL TIME of my entire school life and I had been dreading it because I had already felt the effects of stress from some exams in year 11 and 12 (before that I never got around to studying for exams). To be honest, I consider myself to be quite a lazy Ruse student. I’ve never been a person who completes all their homework every night and who finishes assignments earlier than the night before due date. Before year 11, I never really studied. In year 11 I studied but I couldn’t be bothered for some exams, particularly because they love organising exam timetables so that I finish exams after the rest of the world and by the end of exam period everyone else would be celebrating, so I just couldn’t find the motivation to study.

At the start of year 12, I said to myselfΒ  that I HAD TO STUDY for the final year of school, when it would actually count. It went well for probably the first term, in which I’m quite sure I worked hard. I got stressed about exams, which was probably good for my marks, since a little pressure is needed for optimal performance (as well as optimal arousal levels for the specific task, for you PE students playing along). My parents had always been lenient in my entire school life and they never put any unnecessary pressure on me. They had never forced me into doing tutoring or into doing subjects I didn’t want to and most importantly, they had never put any pressure on me to perform. It’s not that they don’t care: I think that they realise (unlike many many parents, especially the James Ruse variety) that good marks aren’t everything in life (my story of HSC trials to be continued in next blog).

Many other parents look at the welfare of their child this way from birth (may be exaggerated):

  1. Child is born: I hope this child has no mental disabilities.
  2. Formative years: it is important for the child to learn plenty now, so they will begin school on top of everyone.
  3. Primary school: help the child with school work as much as possible so that they don’t fall behind.
  4. Year 3-4: send child to OC preparation so that they get into the OC (not the TV show: the Opportunity Class), so their learning is “accelerated”.
  5. Year 5-6: child made it to the OC or didn’t. Either way, the child has to do selective test preparation. This is WAY more important than OC prep, as it determines the high school they will attend and if this isn’t one of the top high schools in the state, they will fall behind (completely false).
  6. Year 7-11: if child is not in desired school, they must work extraordinarily hard in order to be considered for a transfer to a “better” school in year 9 onwards. If child is in desired school… they STILL have to work hard. It is important for the child to be on top of their studies from the start and the child must develop good study habits.
  7. Year 12: this is crunch time. This child must spend as much time as possible studying, using the study habits and skills learnt from previous years in order to dominate exams and peers. This is the MOST IMPORTANT time for the child, as it will determine the next 60 or so years left they have to live on this earth. High marks will get you a high ATAR (UAI or maybe even TER for you older than year 12 folk), which will get you into whichever course at university you want (or what the parents want in some cases).
  8. Uni, work, marriage, work, having children, retirement: The child becomes independent of the parents and the parents are at the age where they will retire and eventually pass away. The parents want the best for their child and have apparently achieved this if their child makes a lot of money and finds a spouse, but especially the making a lot of money part. Hopefully this child can pass this way of thinking onto their own kids so that they will also be “happy”, since they can make money.

Money – what is it worth?

Sorry, parents who think this way, I have to completely disagree with this way of thinking (above). These parents are trapped in the idea that their role on this earth is to form a super child who will be able to make money, since this will make them happy and will secure their future. Does money make you happy? Maybe in the short term because with it you can buy all sorts of stuff, depending on who you are and what you want. Maybe that is a PS3, maybe clothes, shoes, a car, a house. You can flaunt it to get ladies like in Public Enemies (*cough* yeah, right *cough*). But will any of that bring you any lasting joy? NO! It might bring you a little spark of happiness for a limited time because you have a shiny new toy to play with. But it will become obsolete. Technology and inventions progress so fast now that whatever you bought for so much will probably become worthless in a couple years. You’ll just want a newer toy to play with when the time comes, which will of course, need more money for you to spend.

Everyone who has money wants more, no matter how rich they are. Why do billionaires have so much money? Most likely it is because they’re greedy and good at making money. If they weren’t so greedy, they would have given much of it to charity and to help others and they WOULDN’T be billionaires any more, would they? They just keep making money. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

So why do so many of these parents follow the way of thinking above and believe that money will bring satisfaction to their child?

Well, for many, this small amount of satisfaction is all the “joy” they think this world has to offer. Well, it IS all the “joy” this world has to offer. THIS world. For Christians, earth is the closest to hell they will ever get, while for those who don’t believe in Christ, earth is the closest to heaven they will ever get (props to Jeff and Kitty for this, my Sunday school teachers). If they find they have nothing substantial to look forward to, other than “enjoying life”, of course money is going to seem THAT attractive. Many think that money also serves to “secure the future”. If you have money, you can get whatever this world has to offer and if you accumulate enough of it, you can spend more years in retirement. BUT WHAT IF YOU DIE TOMORROW? There are many passages in the Bible which come to mind on the topic of storing treasures on earth: the second half of Matthew 19 (sadface rich man who couldn’t leave possessions behind to follow God), Matthew 6 (storing up treasures in heaven. rather than earth) and especially Luke 12 – all of these are worth a read, as is the whole Bible ;). So I think that parents (this might be you later on) shouldn’t be equipping their children so that they have the means to be rich later on but rather, should be equipping their children to be rich towards God. This isn’t necessarily sending them to church and youth group every week (you can’t FORCE someone into being a Christian) but I think that like evangelism, it works best through demonstration and leading by example. The parent should be able to show God’s love through their own actions. I’m quite a bit off being a parent myself so I don’t have any experience with this but I hope that when I do have children some day that I’ll be able to remember what I said here and that I will put it into action.

Your treasure – On earth? Or in Heaven?

Luke 12 is the parable of the rich dude who stored up lots of stuff for himself on earth so that he could take life easy and enjoy it bu God calls him a fool because his life would be demanded from him that night. What would he have left? Then the passage goes on to say “This is how it will be for anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God”. Ouch. No matter how much stuff you save up on earth, you’ll have absolutely NONE of it when you die. So what’s the point of it? You become a millionaire… then you die. In the end it’s all the same; whether you die rich or poor, you’ll still be dead. BUT the passage after (vs 22-34) gives us hope. Jesus tells his disciples to NOT WORRY about things of the earth and to seek first God’s kingdom and our needs will be provided for. If you place your trust in God and “invest” in Him rather than in money, we have the treasure of eternal life stored up for us in Heaven.

Sure, money can be looked at as a blessing from God. We can use it for many things, pleasing to ourselves and pleasing to God. But money can also be a curse. If we had no money, I’d take a wild stab and say we wouldn’t be as likely to place it over God. We would be more thankful for survival and basic necessities, rather than longing for material possessions. Again, Matthew 19 comes up (mentioned before), as it is so so hard for a rich man to enter God’s kingdom. If we seem to “have it all” on earth, Heaven all of a sudden doesn’t look as attractive, does it? Even though it is far better than earth, many rich people can’t see this, since they love the world so much. Just a thought.

Colossians 3 talks about how we should live: we should set our mind on things above, not on earthly things. These passages aren’t saying that we’re not allowed to have ANY part in the world. Of course we can still earn and spend money on things and enjoy them, since God DID give us this world to live in, after all. BUT do you love creation more than the Creator? That’s when it becomes wrong, as we are setting out minds on earthly things. That, in biblical terms, is idolatry, which is sinning against God. This is a sin that I find much less noticeable than other ones but a good way to see if you are putting anything above God is considering how you allocate your time and energy in terms of what you think about and what you do and how you spend your money. I believe that this is something all Christians struggle with to a huge extent. How much time do we spend praying and reading the Bible and thinking about God, compared to the time we spend thinking about the opposite sex, studying and playing XBox and computer? Where is your heart (Luke 12:34)?

I know that for me, God doesn’t occupy nearly as much time as He deserves. When I drift off in thought (which I do very very often), very often God doesn’t feature in it. Prayer and Bible reading are in many instances, done unwillingly or not at all. A lot of the time, it is not a priority and is shoved in at the end of the night (or early morning…) when I’m way too tired to think clearly. It’s something which I’ve been trying to work at lately, to have God as not only number one as a priority but the centre of my life, with everything else in life having God in the middle. Of course, no matter how hard I try, I am still very far off when it comes to loving God as much as I should and living life the way that He intended.

If we really aren’t worrying about earthly things that should mean we should have all the time in the world for God. But we’re human, so we really suck at this. I have often felt unmotivated because I think that the “standard” for being a Christian is too high: “I can’t read the Bible every day”, “I can’t pray every second of the day”, “I can’t go to church every week”, “I can’t stop sinning”. Even though I feel like I’m not living as a Christian should, I still feel encouraged: the great thing is that being saved by Christ is not based on our own works (because we would all fall very short in this regard) but it is based entirely on God’s grace and our faith in Jesus. There is no amount of Bible reading and Prayer and going to church that can save us. It is faith alone (Ephesians 2:8-10) that saves us and places us in God’s kingdom. Nothing on this earth is able to save us. Nothing is able to provide us with security and lasting joy. The “joy” we get in this world is temporary, just as this world is temporary and everything in it. But the joy we have in eternal life with God is everlasting.

Applying it (this is what I’ve been thinking about lately)

  • Have a think about what you spend your money, thoughts and time on. Where does God fit into all of this? Do you idolise anything/anyone?
  • When you’re “doing Christian things” like praying and reading the Bible, what is your attitude towards it? Obligation or love for God?
  • Are you worried about the future? If you are, think about why you are worried and if you really should be worried.
  • Think: do you treasure this earth or God who created this earth? Do you treasure this earth or Heaven?
  • Make a change

So how will you be investing your life?