Dec 07

So, this morning I went to a particular church in Launceston. It was different, to say the least.

Before I go into it, I’d like to explain what church actually is…

To me, church is a place of worship. You go there, once a week or more, to worship God. It doesn’t matter how you do it – praise, prayer, reading – it’s just important that you do.

Now I have nothing against church, don’t get me wrong. Church is an excellent way to get back in step with God.

However – the church that I went to in Launceston was a little different to what I am used to. Martin did actually warn me that it was a little more traditional than your average church, and yeah – it was quite traditional indeed.

Usually, the churches I go to have songs that the congregation are expected to sing (loudly, and badly), as do most churches. However – most churches I go to don’t sing those songs acapella. The church that I went to in Launnie, however, did.

It was a really different experience for me – sure, in our congregation we have sung select verses acapella, but really – three whole songs? And the praise itself weren’t even songs – they were psalms. Maybe that’s how we as a people were supposed to do it, but anyway… Maybe it’s because they have an American pastor. All that funky choir stuff and all that.

Right – the message (sermon, talk, word, whatever you prefer) was also good. However – again, there were major differences. It’s definitely possible that I wasn’t listening properly (considering the lack of sleep), but it seemed like there was no real points made in the message, and it was more of a meander through the reading than anything else.

When points were made, little anecdotes were rarely made. I will say that there was at least one decent anecdote that I could actually apply to the real world (“Paul didn’t tell the people that they needed the latest CDs, the latest computers, but that they needed prayer” – or something along those lines), but apart from that – nothing. Emphasis on certain key points would have proved beneficial, in this writer’s opinion anyway. At the end of the service, I didn’t feel like I could really take anything away from it and apply it to my daily life. I’m not saying I want more “lukewarm Christian” speeches – but the sermon could have been better, to say the least.

I feel bad about writing such negative thoughts about that church – which included thinking “The 19th century called, they want their church service back”. Sooo harsh.

After the service, the people came up to us and talked about stuff – which was nice. They certainly seemed to be nice people, but they were mostly retirees. Again – I have no issue with retirees, it’s just that most of the congregations I go to are new families or young couples. I was the 4th or 5th youngest person there, for sure.

Anyway – it looks like my definition of church needs a little work. I know what I like in a church, though, and it was definitely not what I experienced this morning in Launceston. Still, thanks for the experience, Martin.

Now I’ll just go back to my Hillsong/Planetshakers-inspired generation of church. I’m fine with the odd classic hymn, but psalms? They freak me out, especially when sung acapella. Maybe it’s just ‘cos I don’t have such a great singing voice.

Anyway, I might put more up here later in the week about our trip to Devonport – but for now, it’s comments below for you.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , ,

Aug 24

A couple of days ago, I was stinge-ing (pronounced st-IN-ging) a lift home from a friend, and he had to go to the bank.

Now this then entailed me waiting in the car, which was totally fine by me, but then he said: “You can always go buy a pie…”

He said it with such a look that said: “…and I want one too!”

Now, I didn’t go buy a pie – primarily becuase I didn’t have any money on me, nor my wallet, but I was thinking about it later – I asked myself the following question:

Had I had enough cash, would I have bought him a pie without him asking for one?

Unfortunately, the answer to that would be no. I’d love to think that I would have, but in reality, I’d have an outside chance of doing so.

And that’s where the problem, dear reader, lies; I’m a selfish person. I freely admit that, evidenced by the real-life scenario above.

Obviously, this isn’t a good thing. Now I know that buying someone a pie without them asking isn’t exactly life-threatening, but it’s the principle (that I’m selfish as all hell) that counts. By not buying my friend who was generously giving me a lift home (as he has done many times before), I was violating my own set of rules.

Most of the time I’d like to think that I have a good grip on reality – but the reality of the situation is I wouldn’t have bought my friend a pie, but not because I’m intentionally selfish, but because I’m un-intentionally so.

At least Radi8 was good – Radi8 turned one! We had some games (an sort of mini-Radi8tion) and Black came last, with Red taking out the cup. We had $50 worth of chips from the fish and chip shop on Hawthorn Drive, and after that, small lifegroups time followed by another inspirational message from an young American who spoke at the Hillsong conference.

Speaking of which, he said: “I’m preaching just as well as you’re responding!” To which the crowd shouted and whooped it up. Which is what you should be doing here.

In any case, chemistry homework is far too much, there’s only so much you can write about Zinc, and I’ve almost written it all.

Song for this week is “Do Wah Diddy” by Manfred Mann – truly excellent stuff.

Freshbytes – where our grip on reality is increasing every day.

Comments below.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Aug 17

No deep and meaningful today fellas (although there may be later on, depending on how I feel :D ), just a straight news-only post because Chris did was supposed to do the blog post last week.

Radi8 last week (8/8/08) was awesome as usual – I wasn’t there for the first part because I thought they were cleaning up the dirt jumps, but instead they watched a movie.
After a Maccas dinner, we had some Lifegroups time where the Year 7-8 girls were the only ones to have a seperate group – everyone else was lumped into the one big group! It was different, actualy, to hear everyone else’s opinions… That being said – I didn’t enjoy it as much. Maybe I’m a small-group kinda guy :D
Our time after that consisted of watching the new Hillsong DVD – which prompted me to buy it the very next day after work. Favourite song at this very moment from that album is Where We Belong – love the vocals, the melody, and the music – but especially the message.

On that note, (pun seriously not intended) I had no idea that Hillsong and Planetshakers were available on the iTunes Music Store! Previously, I had been looking for them under “Gospel and Religious” but not under “Inspirational”! Here’s the iTMS link for the new Hillsong album. If it wasn’t for me looking for a song that Dean plays every single time he hooks up his iPod to the speaker system (without fail), Planetshaker’s “Saved the Day” from their album “Free”. then I would never have discovered that the iTMS is such an awesome place…. Which reminds me, by the time you read this I’ll have bought that album, too!

Sadly, I didn’t go to the KidsMin Drama on Friday night, instead spending the night with the NoSpoon crew – for once, James G and I played Diablo II online. Sure, it was only two of us, but it sure as hell was every bit as fun as TrackMania Nations Forever and Counter Strike: Condition Zero after it was. Killing the Undead monsters with Corpse Explosion, a Vengeance, and a Blessed Hammer is just awesome. Far too awesome to describe in words, in fact.

Now the Kingston Combined Churches event – what a farce. If I say anymore I’ll just rant, so if you do want to know how it went – talk to me. On a brighter note (again, pun not intended) the Radi8 youth band were excellent to the point of Nathan needing a new amp halfway through. I have no idea what happened to his other one, but it just seemed to stop work for no apparent reason! Epic lulz.

Youth Alive is on soon (August 30), so you better get your PayPal on if you want to go to Launceston to have an absolutely smashing time. I’m going – so that means you should be too!

I’m not going to the Radi8 Winter camp, though, because none of my friends are going :(

I think that just about wraps it up – if there’s anything else I’ve left out, leave it in comments.

written by Benny Ling \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,