25 years ago, a 17 year old girl boarded a plane from Mackay to Brisbane into a whole new world she had no idea existed. I had just spent the last 2 and a half years not living my potential. I had just discovered the saving power and love of Jesus Christ – I had thought that I had done so many bad things that I had gone beyond where God could reach me. Thankfully through a few people who hadn’t given up on me, I came to know that there was nowhere I could run from God’s love.
It’s been two weeks since summer camp, and while we can’t speak for anyone else who was there, it’s been hard coming down the mountain and trying to sustain ‘faith’ at home outside of the oasis of camp. Life seems pretty different to summer's adventures & our Summer Camp MC's Jess and Claire are here with a few tips on how to make it back into the 'real world'.
Today marks a pretty important day in Australia - the Boxing Day Test. Whether you’re a Brit or an Aussie, I can guarantee that in homes all across the country people will be emerging from their Christmas Day food coma, nabbing the best seat on the couch and settling in for a long day of watching the cricket. Of course, tea breaks are the best time to throw in a water fight, play some backyard cricket or grab some leftovers from the fridge. It’s a time-worn tradition. But it's also important for another reason.
As a kid, I was stoked to be a part of Christmas Mass. All the children got to be angels, farm animals, and shepherds adorned in their mum’s tea towels and sheets. The older kids were chosen to be the wise men, and one girl got to be Mary. If you were in Innisfail in 2006 you would have seen the nervous face of 12-year-old me in the special role. Things have changed a little since then...
Do you know where the whole ‘Christmas tree idea’ came from?
Apparently the ancient Egyptians and Romans used leaves as a symbol of worship to their Gods. Pagans would bring evergreens into their homes during the winter months and decorate them with nuts to brighten the mood. There are several stories of how this transformed into the modern Christmas tree...
Do you ever wonder if you are too young to lead? Or too old? Somewhere in between? If there’s anything I’ve learned about leadership it’s that each stage and age of leadership offers a unique perspective and a unique gift.
I don’t know about you but my post-conference week has been brutal. I miss you all. I miss chilling out in the festival with you, I miss the random conversations that start in the food line, I miss the rallies with the incredible speakers and I miss worshipping our God with you.
Yesterday someone asked me what I expected to get out of the Ignite Conference, and I didn’t have an answer. After working (what feels like 24/7) in the office and at home, I'd forgotten to stop, and prepare by heart. I’ve been working at such a rush, that I was actually preparing my heart to rush through these next few days, without even looking up.
The Gospels are four books of wild trekking through Israel by Jesus and his crew, and honestly, Jesus called his disciples into some radical places. He drew them close and sent them out often, and each time He did so it was with a purpose and for a mission.
I’ll never forget the first time I experienced Adoration. I went into the room not really understanding God or what faith was truly about. I had been going to church since I was a child, I’d gone through a Catholic school and been at regular youth groups, but for me, it was a ‘community thing’ not a ‘spiritual thing’.
I tend to be a pretty serious person. Anyone who knows me will probably roll their eyes at that statement, cause look – I do crack a lot of jokes. But I think a lot. Kind of non-stop. It’s really easy to cracks some jokes. But it feels pretty terrible when you feel like a joke.
A few years ago, I was a small group leader for a group of year 12 guys. There were about 13 or so and for the first few sessions conversation was slow and shallow but eventually they began to open up and share about their lives and the journey they were going on over Conference.
I’ve been having a problem at work, and I’m certain that it is my own fault. I’ll be happily sitting at my own desk, typing away, working hard, headphones in and music bumping. Next thing I know, a soft mist is falling on my hair. Today, Tash, who sits beside me, literally had to spray me with whiteboard marker to get my attention. Turns out, she had been calling out to me for a couple of minutes. I just wasn’t prepared for an interruption.
Alright so you got through the last round of Catholic facts and yeah, maybe you knew one or two already. For Volume II we’ve got a whole new round-up of the freshest facts that you’ve probably (almost certainly) never heard before.
"During a grand total of two days, bullets were aimed, fired, and lodged into my conscience, making me acknowledge the truth of what it means to be a disciple today, in the real world, as a young person who wants to be worthy of the life she is called to lead....."
If you’re anything like me, you’re so thankful lecturers are finally giving you a break from reading pages and pages each week, you’ve stepped outside for the first time this week and what’s better you can start answering ‘yes’ to those text messages from friends, asking ‘can we hang out?’ This, my dear friends is called a…. Mid-year break!
Birthdays have always been super exciting to me. I always make sure to remind people on New Year’s Eve that it’s 10 days until I’m another year older. It’s not that I’m trying to get a few more presents, I’m just kind of hooked on the excitement and anticipation (okay, and the presents). Which is why I love celebrating Pentecost.
Whoa! That was a huge week. School holidays, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Stations of the Cross, some massive Easter liturgies and then finally - Easter Sunday. It seems to have all gone so fast! Before you know it - it’s Easter morning and you’re neck-deep in chocolate eggs and self-induced tummy aches...
So it is Ash Wednesday today and for the first time, I actually remembered. Every year, on about the Monday before Ash Wednesday someone will ask me the standard, “so…what are you giving up this year?” Usually I’ll proceed to stare at them blankly until my stomach drops and it all clicks into place even though I vowed I wouldn’t forget this year.
Don’t limit God by thinking His glory only shines on top of the mountain, like in that historical moment of the Transfiguration. God’s plan for you doesn’t stop at Summer Camp. The adventure continues!
One of the biggest markers of someone who can set goals and achieve them is that they are in tune with their future self. They can feel what it would feel like if they didn’t follow through, or they can better see the consequences.