Monday, December 19, 2011

Joyeux Noel!

I love Christmas music- always have and always will. Some people say they don't , and I understand not loving songs about snow people, flying reindeer, or hippos (but i still think it's fun!). However, a good bit of Christmas music is definitely some amazing worship songs. 
Christmas songs are worship, exultation to God because of who He is and what He's done. They tell not just the goodness but also the greatness, the divinity of our God.
My favorite Christmas song is O come, O come Emmanuel. This is a perfect example of a Christmas song of worship.
The meaning of the song reads better if you  read it in sentence versus score and measure.

O come, O come, Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel that mourns in lonely exile here, until the Son of God appears.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to the, O Israel!

There are many more verses, but they essentially all share and tell of the same story. The song itself has a sound of both desperation and joy. It reflects upon the history of the Jews- they had been hard pressed, in exile, forced out of their own land, and forced to stop their own religious practices, traditions, and habits in a foreign land, in terrible circumstances. Emmanuel means "God with us". The Jews were looking for the man that will give them back their land, their culture, their religious freedom.
They needed Emmanuel- God to be with them. They needed a saviour.They needed to know and be reassured of the fact that rescue is coming,
 They were probably at this point thinking something like- 
"Where is this saviour that God promised would take us out of captivity? where is the man that was promised to come and help and save us? It's been too long, I don't know how much longer I trust how much I believe this anymore.. But God you tell me to hold on, because He's coming.. O come, O come saviour, God be with us in these trials.."
So the song lyrics read that way-
" O come, come to us and God be with us and save us from this terrible state of captivity and trial. We have been in this captivity, in these trying times for far too long and need our saviour.  We are waiting For the Son of God to come down and save us."
probably at this point, it is hard to hold on to hope. But oh, imagine the celebration to be had when the Saviour did come! Imagine what a relief  it would be to sing 
"Rejoice! Rejoice! GOD IS WITH US! He's come to us-Israel!" 
This is the hope they'd been waiting for!God is Good, God is Great- God keeps His promises!

So you may not be held in captivity, but everyone has hard situations in life, so your song of worship could be similar to the Israelites'. 
"O come and be with me God as I go through this treatment;split;move;death of a loved one;depression;sickness. There's-a lot riding on this;so much pain;mourning;strife;anxiety- but God, I am waiting for you."
and depending on the chorus you are singing at the time, be it "shall come to thee", or "has come to thee"..
"I Thank you, Lord in advanced, for I know you will have your will in this situation, and come through. You have never failed me, and I trust in you, that You are Lord over this situation."
"Thank you, Lord! I rejoice in the miracle, for you answer my prayers! You are great and I thank you for working in my situation!"

So very merry Christmas to you, and I hope we all remember to worship God in everything-in word,deed, or song this Christmas season. :)
Joyeux Noel!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Break blog

Christmas Break update:
So I’m home for Christmas break! I’ve been home about a week and a half now. It’s been great so far! It’s so strange being back in the states though. I would have never guessed there’d be a culture shock in coming back to where you’re from, but when you’re in an entirely different culture for a while and come back to something/ anything completely different- it does throw you off a bit! 
So yes, I’m back in the states, where there is heaps of fast food and easy, cheap things! Where you can drive around on the right side of the road and drive thru restaurants; where denominations matter a whole lot and churches are on every corner. I sort of did miss seeing churches everywhere, come to think of it. I never realized how unchurched Australia was when moving there, but compared to the states, it is so obviously different in every sense. But, my Heart for the country is that others will realize it’s still a mission field even though it’s not a 2nd or 3rd world country. 1st world countries need Jesus just as much as the rest of the world. 
The difference is how witnessing and ministry is gone about.
In the south, practically every person, if not everyone, has heard about Jesus and knows or recognizes a bible story or two. So ministry here, in my opinion, is tweaking people’s views on God, Jesus, the church, and Christians so that we share the True view and true points about our God and what we believe, hoping our actions line up with the preaching they've heard. It most likely looks like helping people-reaching out for the people that need to be drawn to God through community and sharing love.
In places where Jesus is more unheard of, it’s about basic simplicity of sharing the Gospel in understandable language; for the unchurched people in a society where talking about God, Jesus, or bible stories isn't as common don’t need big, religious words they haven’t heard of or know the meaning. They need Jesus and they need to know why they need Jesus. 

Oh dear, don’t know what exactly what started that bit, but I guess through this Journey I’ve been finding my passions, more about the world, and being more aware about knowing  the culture/people/society/issues of the environment you are currently in. No matter where you are, it is important to question: what is the most I can do here, how can I get involved, and how can I help?

 For West Monroe, I’d say 3 things are quite important: 
1. With the incredibly heart wrenching number of suicides in the parish just during 2011, it is vital to help be the change in this “trend”-more like epidemic.  Since there’s no one thing to pin point suicides to, God is our only answer, and prayer should be our first response. 

2. Bringing the body of Christ together as a whole and looking past denominational differences is a major goal that should be worked towards so that WE as God’s church, together as one, have no dissension among ourselves. We should love our friends and family despite any differences on how we “do church” or worship, for our love for God should be enough to continue to lift up each other despite any personal preferences or convictions. Who wants to be part of a religion that fights among itself? What kind of body is that?

3.I don’t know if I feel so strongly about this subject because I’m occasionally (when I lived here) involved in helping the homeless, but it’s SO OBVIOUS to anyone even going through the Ouachita parish area that there is a relatively large number of homeless people. Anyone driving for more than 5 minutes is sure to see someone either sitting on the corner of the street asking for a lift, money, a job, or food. There is just about always people walking around with large backpacks or things (or sometimes nothing at all) that is the entirety of their belongings, walking from place to place-to either get to work or just wandering.  If you have any spare change to your name at all, you are considered to be in the top 8% of the wealthiest people in the world. You just bought a $9 meal at chick-fil-a, and then say you don’t have a dollar to give to the man and wife walking right beside your car starving? (now of course, I know good judgment should be used before giving someone a ride or something like that, especially if you’re female-that’s common sense, but there are so many things you can do to help out besides that- volunteer at a shelter, a soup kitchen, under the bridge ministries, etc.) 

Anyways, basically, there’s always more that can be done. 
You can talk less trash,gossip, negative comments to your church friends about “oh them Baptists… oh those pentacostals… the ___(insert any denomination here)”… other people that aren’t Christians hear it.They do. 
And there are always prayers to be prayed for the friends and family that are permanently left with the aftermath of a suicide. Praying that there are no more certainly helps, but I personally pray more for peace of mind and heart of the friends and family of the person.  
And there’s always a little bit extra you can do to give to or help the homeless and needy in the area. 

Your mission field is not only whatever location God has put on your heart to do missions abroad, but as a Christian, your mission field is anywhere you are standing. 

Friday, December 9, 2011

Aussie update from LAX

Aussie Update from America:

So I left Sydney Wednesday afternoon, my flight took off at about 3:25. Before I got on the plane, there were a few random little fiascos, but nothing too bad. First of all- I highly recommend anyone to weigh every bit of luggage before going to the airport. I wish I would have had a scale! I was definitely shocked when I found my one checked luggage was 7 kilos overweight! So, Andrew (He escorted me off to the airport) and I pulled over to the side because I was going to see what all I could take out of my luggage and he just take back to my flat when I leave. So, as we are sorting, a woman on the bench beside us mentions that we could get large bags to carry things in from a store in the airport. So Andrew treks off to find one, then she mentions that you can just get a big cardboard box from the Post and count that as a checked bag (I was allowed 2 bags, but only wanted to carry one to make things a bit easier.) So, we get the cardboard box, stuff about 8 kg of stuff in it, take it up to the counter and they take it! What a relief! That random woman from Idaho is a legend. Haha. This was the first time flying by myself! It wasn’t terrible, but when it’s with people it’s always more fun. Actually, saw my friends from College, Joel and Brian at the gates, and Joel and I were on the same flight so that worked out nicely.
The flight was a little less than 13 hours. I had a window seat towards the back of the plane. It wasn’t too shabby I’d say. . I was blessed to have nice seat neighbors. On the aisle seat was a sweet, older, Canadian woman, and the girl beside me was a student at UNSW! She was nice to talk to-and quite impressive I must say: Triple Major! I didn’t know it was humanly possible to do that, but she apparently does. Food-not too bad for airplane food, but as a college student, I’ve found I’ll eat next to anything given to me.
 LAX airport is huge! Oh my goodness, I was quite turned around at first, but then I found my gate with relative ease. I’m currently sitting in the Starbucks outside of my gate while I have about another 40 minutes until my plane starts boarding.  At this moment, I REALLY wish I had my American phone! Because Vodafone does not work at all here apparently. Noooo service=noooo contact to the world.
 I am NOT looking forward to the plane flight to Dallas, the plane is going to be so small compared to all the international flying I’ve been doing! Yikes! I don’t enjoy flying. Take off is the worst part for sure. Thankfully, I had taken a Dramamine about 20 minutes before I got on the plane so I fell asleep RIGHT before take-off, and slept for about another two hours after that. I’m hoping for the same thing to happen on the way to Dallas! Lol.
You know that moment when you look around at all the people in your gate and are like “oh man, screaming child-or-the woman that’s drooling in her sleep right now- I hope they aren’t beside me on the flight!” I’ve pretty much been doing that all day. I’ve seriously prayed for favor regarding seatmates for days now! So far all is well! Shall update again after Dallas. I can’t wait to land in Texas, see mom and dad again finally! And also get some steak n’ shake or chickfila!
G’day (x2 since I get to do Wednesday twice!) mates!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Always another side

"Brick wall,waterfall, girl you think you know it all;
you don't, I do, so ssphhh with your attitude"
     -In a humorous way, I'm reminded of this silly little "patty-cake" song we used to sing when I was little because of something God told me. It's funny, His since of humor sometimes. He's so personal. I love it :)

So during chapel last Friday, God showed me a picture. Just a simple picture of a brick wall. That's it, nothing special or revolutionary.
But he said "Look and think on this- there is always another side. Every single wall in the entire world has another side to it. It is never over, it's never the end. In Every single situation in life, there is always another side."
     -the other side of a tough situation- a resolution,peace, an alternative, something different.
     -the other side of pain- healing, restoration
     -the other side of death- eternity, (hopefully eternity in heaven)
     -the other side of hopelessness-hope, discovery
     -the other side of problematic society- revival, we can share the solution
     -the other side of despair- faith, joy
 There is a time and season for everything. I am reminded of Ecclesiastes 3-

There is a time for everything, 

   and a season for every activity under the heavens:

  a time to be born and a time to die, 
   a time to plant and a time to uproot, 
 a time to kill and a time to heal, 
   a time to tear down and a time to build, 
 a time to weep and a time to laugh, 
   a time to mourn and a time to dance, 
 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, 
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 
 a time to search and a time to give up, 
   a time to keep and a time to throw away, 
 a time to tear and a time to mend, 
   a time to be silent and a time to speak, 
 a time to love and a time to hate, 
   a time for war and a time for peace.
See, even Solomon recognized there is another side to everything. 
Whatever you may be going through, there is another side.
Never, never give up on anything.
That's what makes me so upset about suicide... so many think it ends problems, things won't be the way they are if they just end it... but there is ALWAYS hope, ALWAYS another side to any situation,problem, or issue you may be faced with in your life. Things can and will change in due time. and there is of course, always another side to the brick wall of death- there is eternity. which way are you going to spend it? please don't take matters lightly and brush it off. Suicide is a real "wall" people contemplate, and sit at far too long. We see this massive wall, what are we doing to share the way around it? In my opinion, so much cause of suicide is hopeless people feel-the lack of faith that there is a way out of their current situation.
    There is always another side to the wall. 
    There is always another way.
Didn't mean to rant there: I just see a problem, and so deeply desire to be part of a solution to fix this "epidemic".
Maybe I'm taking Church History Tutorials too seriously when I begin to think and literally plan out ways to be part of a solution to problems that are facing not only the church as a unit,but the world's health as a whole. Maybe I am, or maybe He's taking me on the path of something that has the potential to be picked up,given life to, and taken action with. 
"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."-Romans 8:28.

So what if on the other side of my brick wall is a waterfall? I can't begin to know it all, even if I think I do sometimes. I don't, He does, so sphhh goes my attitude and mindset in replacement for His. 

Tea time=Jesus Time

One of my favorite habits is having a ridiculous amount of tea every day. It's the equivalent of my sanity.
A couple cups every morning, afternoon, and before I sleep seems to be about the normal. I think my favorite part about this is not even revolving around the drink, but having the opportunity to just hold the cup,take in the warm as it heats my hands and soothes my throat, and stop for a moment... ah, what a blessed moment in life when you have the opportunity to just stop...just pause for a moment...selah.

It has been an insanely ridiculously crazy week. Life is such a roller coaster of highs and lows.
               Really highs, and really lows.
First, I find that I'm going to be an aunt in May!!!!
I couldn't be happier! well sort of... I told Emily not to get pregnant while I'm gone and she gets pregnant as soon as I'm gone! punk. haha, but really, I'm SOO excited! Emily and Ty will be great parents and I can't wait to be Aunt Kate! I'm going to get tons of "Mum" things while they're at my accessibility here down under ;)
Then! I get an email from Lee University (one of the few colleges I applied to for Fall 2012), the one that I have mainly wanted to go to for a few years now, but didn't think I'd be able to because of expenses. The email said that they had revised my application and offered me a full ride!! this is such a blessing and answered prayer, because my prayer about this college was "God, if this is where you want me to go, you will provide the way to be able to go there". He so did, and is so good!

Low side-Not feeling so well here lately-idk what's up with that. but it's not fun. But, I will be healed and feeling better-In Jesus' Name. and also=Bed bugs.yes, full fledged bed bugs.they are gone now, but it has been a not fun beginning of the week, I tell you. They were just in mine and Rooney's room,thankfully not the entire flat! but still- that's ZERO fun. Threw out all of our mattresses, had to clean as much as humanly possible, wash&dry (in hot, hot heat,mind you) literally every item Rooney and I own that has a bit of fabric on it. (oh btw- I found some pillows EXPLODE in the washing machine...who knew.) sooo that's been heaps of fun. BUT- The laundry is finished, and God has been good to me.  blessing #1:Two friends offered  mattresses! So by Friday, Rooney and I both will have beds to sleep on again! blessing #2:Good friends that just cook me lunch or dinner when I am busy and don't have time or energy to do it myself! sooo nice on weeks like this! blessing #3-another friend gave me pillows!including a body pillow!(if you know me, you know these are one of my favorite things in the world!)! Things may be challenging sometimes, but it's in the times where you can't help anything on your own, that you see God come through on your behalf. And also when you get to see how much people care and how awesome your friends are :) so thank you, everyone!

perspective, perspective. I have a lovely flat in Sydney, Australia, with a fantastic view of the city, a place to lay my head, food in the cabinets, great friends, church, and family.
God is good, all the time.
So as I sit here on my mattress, drinking my cuppa (thats aussie for cup of tea, or cup of coffee),- black tea with one dash of milk, and a tad of sugar, I breathe it in, am reminded to keep perspective and know that God is good, all the time. Selah.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

It's been a while...

Sorry folks... I know it's been a while since my last post..a month exactly... ha, I really have no excuses for that except for the fact that I haven't really been sure what to post about! I mean, I could post about everyday life, since being in Sydney now feels normal. so i guess that is new! I've gotten a lot more used to looking right while crossing roads and such, sticking to the left of things/places, and slowly getting better at understanding reading Celsius. As far as things go living on my own:yes Mom, I've been price checking groceries, doing (too much)laundry, cooking,cleaning,etc. :) As far as health goes: I'm feeling so much better! I was sick with the flu for about a week and a half(Yes, I broke down and went to the doctor here about a week into feeling terrible. What I have to say about Australian doctor=well, he and everyone in the office WEREN'T Australian and English was clearly not their first language. I do say it was by far the quickest doctor's visit I've ever experienced. But... I'm still not entirely convinced of the lack of thoroughness of the examination.) So I am all better now and enjoying this week! It's been a beautiful spring so far until the past 2 days where it's been cold and rainy, but a little bit of that is okay ;)
let's see... neat things I've done since last post:
-went outside of Sydney to this adorable,little beach town: Kiama! It's officially one of my favorite places ever. The beaches and coast line and landscape is absolutely stunning!! Since there's often large rocks or cliffs on the beaches here, I've gotten to very much enjoy climbing them and sitting on the furthest or highest edge and getting the best view in the world. To me, it tells of the magnitude of God's great craftsmanship.
-finally been to Coogee beach now as well; twas nice-twas cold.
-Vogue Fashion Night Out! so that was pretty fantastic- go downtown and find that all around downtown Sydney, stores were open late and had extra awesome sales on and were giving away free stuff left and right, with models everywhere instead of mannequins. It was such cool atmosphere and gave an excellent presentation to Sydney fashion!
-Big Exo Day! So, while I didn't really get to see much of it because I was at the entrances during the event- It was such a cool evangelistic youth event- I've never seen anything like it! SOOO many rides, food booths, bands, singers, rappers, etc. and Reggie Dabbs brought the Word! and most of all- 1200 kids got saved!  beautiful day outside, and such an incredible youth event!
-I'm finally recognizing things! like bus numbers(you generally just take the m20, 301,302,and 303)( see, look, i know now :) ) and some street names... which is a big feat for me, since i barely know street names in West Monroe! me know what you'd like me to post about or fill ya in on...because I'm pretty much out of ideas off the top of my head. still THOROUGHLY enjoying it here! Love life in Sydney; Love everything God is doing in my life. Can't wait to see what is to come !

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Aussie update

okay guys! random update! so i can't really think of anything in specific to update about, but i haven't posted in a few weeks or so, so i figured i should :)

Things here are going fantastically! Ah, man, i sure do love it here!
I guess i could start talking about my classes!
I have mondays off, so so far those have been my catch-up/homework/assessment doing days for the most part. On Tuesdays, I start the day with 6:45 a.m choir rehearsal for chapel,then i'm normally back at my flate before 8:30,then back to school at 10 and have a New Testament lecture with Duncan Corby. Great class,and Duncan makes it so interesting! then chapel!which is always so good, lunch, and then Christian Doctrine lecture with Tracy Barrell. challenging,informative,in depth,but fantastic. wednesday is my most busy day for sure!we go from 10-5 with a 30 minute lunch break. we do Church History tutorial(tutorials=where we break down in our core group of 25 and discuss in depth what we learned about in the lecture), World Religions tutorial, Church History lecture with Tracy, and then Core Tutorial time!we in our core of the 25 of us that are all youth&young adult pathway students, we do more tutorials on Personal Evangelism, Christian Doctrine, and Teamwork. i love my Core! and within my core i'm in a team of Five of us, we named ourselves "the blondes"..because we are all blonde..yeah,its good :)
Thursdays are my easy day! We have sisterhood in the morning, which is always good! and then about 2 hours later i have Person Evangelism lecture with Catrina Henderson, the city campus president. Then on Friday, 9 a.m World Religions lecture with Katie Peters(she's my core tutorial leader), 2 hour break, then Chapel, lunch, and New Testament tutorial!

then begins fieldwork and church life..
so being in the Youth pathway, i'm a leader in the year 7 tribe!on tribe Loco :) (team lo-mexican-co)(which is the best!) but further along that, i'm also on the Creative team for Fuel, which consists of decorating and all that jazz for Fuel every week after my last tutorial(about 4 p.m) until the leaders meeting at 6:15, then Fuel starts at 7:30! and on Sundays I serve on Car Park for the 8:00 service, and in Ravaque for the 9:45 service(or that's what the plan looks like for now) it's fun! i enjoy sundays, then i typically go to on of the saturday service and the sunday night service. love it :)

I've gotten okay at cooking here lately, i really enjoy it! i've started to love cooking and baking. the gym is super convenient, it's literally right outside of my flat. that's fun and nice. I love going into the city whenever i can! man, sydney is so convenient, it's like a 40 minute walk into the city, about 30 minute bus to the beach, only about 2 hours to the mountains! I love it here! and I have so many relationships with so many incredible people here, it's astounding :) so many fun movie nights,dinners, coffee dates, etc. love all of those folks so much!

that's all i can think of for now! let me know if there's anything i should write about in particular or anything! love you all!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

50 Random Facts

so idk where to start as far as an update goes, so i'm just gonna start doing random facts i've found. or if you have any questions about anything else, let me know and i'll tell you :)

1.I feel like i spend half my life on Danks street. (It's the street i walk from my apartment, to and from church several times a day.) It's a lovely street with art shops, cafes, organic grocery stores, and such. 'tis cute.

2. As a Pastoral student, my day off is Monday.. so if you need me or want to skype, best day to do it is Monday!(for L.A folks, sunday evening for yall!)

3.Aussies take No Worries seriously. allll the time "no worries, no worries no worries"

4.Australian and New Zealand accents are actually quite different

5.easy mac here is awesome. it's cheesier..but of course more expensive.($2 a bowl,round about)

6.speaking of round about...most streets use "round abouts" instead of stop signs. i have had several close calls crossing the streets because of these weird things!

7.and speaking of expensive... everything here is crazy expensive. soo expensive, especially food. i think the cheapest meal i've had here was $5 at hungry jacks. that's right folks, no dollar menu.

8.speaking of hungry jacks... Hungry Jacks=Burger King(same thing, different name)

9.Paddy's market is awesome! it's kind of basically China Town, well, it's in China Town, but they have everything to clothes,headphones, jewelry, to all kinds of food! i've found that the best part of Paddy's market is the food! fruit and vegetables are soo cheap! so that's where i've been getting all that from.

10.Big W=walmart

11.american like places=they do have kmart,target, build a bear, taco bell, and a couple of other places i just dont remember

12.canadians call shopping carts Buggies like we do in Louisiana! but here, they are called "trollies"

13.Boost is my new favorite candy bar. its awesom!it has cookie pieces, carmel,chocolate and all that god stuff in it


15.anything chocolate is Cadbury chocolate....YUM!

16.i've gotten so into baking because it makes the flats feel like home :)

17.The best black coffee i've had is just a long black cup from Sonoma(also on Danks). soo strong and soo good!

18.i am loving walking everywhere! call me strange, but i love just being able to get out and walk to wherever i need and not having to worry about a car or driving or anything! and chips here are soo good!

20. the beaches here are very pretty, but much smaller than you'd think!

21.Maroubra beach is my favorite so far! it's only a little bit further out than Bondi, but much less crowded

22. climbing on the rocks on the beaches to the tops of the cliffs is spectacular, it's one of the best views in the world.

23.during winter time=sunrise is about 6:50 and sunset is about 5 p.m

24.there are 6 weekend church services you can go to at Hillsong church- Saturday@6,Sunday morning-@8:00,9:45,11:30, Sunday night-@5:00&7:00. i think my favorite so far are the saturday evening service, and the sunday morning at 11:30. but then again, they are all so good!

25.things i've served in at or been a part of at hillsong so far- Backpackers on Monday(Hostel ministry where you go in and make food and sometimes have music, and then you just talk with everyone and make relationship/conversation with the backpackers from around the world.)  Chapel Choir on Tuesday mornings, Connect groups on Tuesday night!(led by the beautiful Kourtney Campbell from Alabama!she's such a sweetheart),Wednesday night- Powerhouse!( amazing church service for 18-25 year olds), Thursday morning-SisterHood! its the women's ministry here, every other week i'm apart of the Pamper team where we do hair/nails/massages for the women and just let them relaxed and beautiful and all, i love it :), Friday night- Fuel!!!!(the stinkin' awesome youth group for 7-9th graders(here they call it year 7-9)!soo fun,so much energy,so much dancing,and jesus!) Saturday Morning- Street teams!(break up into teams of about 10 or so and just go help out the community by serving and talking with the people, either doing house or yard work, or barbecue or such like that),then the normal hillsong services.

26. Wentworth Falls in the blue mountains is maybe one of the most  gorgeous places i've ever been! the Blue mountains are so amazing

27.Cotton On is my favorite australian clothing store wise- pants are 2 sizes too small looking and shirts look 3 sizes too big. however, i've found this to be very comfy!

29.unfortunately, soo many people here think leggings are pants.yuck.

30. you have a spectacular view of the city skyline from The Hill at Moore Park. it's only about 5 minutes from my apartment too :)

31.i do make my own sweet tea here! ptl,ptl.

32.i've gotten quite accustomed to drinking hot tea all the time. it's a good habit :)

33. SO many places/businesses/restaurants close at 5 p.m. so it's like, theres alot to do in Sydney,but then NOTHING to do at night,lol.

34.cheese here is quite wonderful, but milk is tricky- skim milk is essentially like 2%, and the rest is very thick.

35.bread goes badly sooo quickly if you don't put it in the fridge. apparently there are alot less preservatives.

36.Coles is like, the big time grocery store here. and especially since it's like a 2-3 minute walk from my apartment,lol.

37.going to coles is about like going to walmart back home- it's impossible to go and not run into someone you know

38.language is not the same as it is in America... you can say ALL SORTS of things here, even during a lecture of church service. it's no matter here, it's just part of the culture. so that's been quite something to adjust to, hearing more "cursing"(what would be considered curse words in america) in church than most any pg or some pg-13 movies. ha, during services it's always "...***...sorry americans..."

39.about over 60% of the college students here are american

40.movies here are rated differently. i dont understand them. theres like, E(i think..) for everybody or general or whatever, then theres M, Then M-15...and i havent even checked if theres anything worse than that. but yeah, it's all quite confusing.but they do alot of american movies here

41. Sydney has the worlds' biggest Imax theater!! For a price of $28 a ticket...yikes!

42.they have redbox here! it's called red...something else. but it's essentially redbox. but for the same concept, you have to turn it in at 7 p.m, and it's $2.95 a day! of course though, because everything here is more expensive

43. minimum wage apparently depends on your age.. like for me at 18, it's $15! ha, to compensate for the rest of the prices, it's not too shabby!

44.i am absolutely loving getting to befriend/meet/talk to/do life with so many people from literally all parts of the world! it's sooo great and soo interesting to learn about all sorts of different culture and all.

45.toilets- so strange-they have 2 different flush options-half flush or whole flush. one uses 3 liters of water,the other 6. but this really makes no sense in my opinion because you always need to completely flush..just saying. the half is never effective or no one ever does that. strange strange stuff.

46.yes folks...the water drains counter clockwise.

47.Westfield- an awesome mall chain!

48.for college, you're a part of a fieldwork, and then you have Church life(you serve in 2 services and sit in one), I'm pumped to really get into this next week! my fieldwork is being a Fuel leader!woop woop. and for church life, i'll still a part of Fuel doing the rave-a-que(like, the barbeque in the garage in the morning),and refuel(church service for year(grade)7&8 during the main church service after praise and worship.

49.I love it here :)


Monday, August 1, 2011

psalm 119:1-16

 You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God. 
   You're blessed when you follow his directions, doing your best to find him.That's right—you don't go off on your own;you walk straight along the road he set.You, God, prescribed the right way to live;now you expect us to live it.Oh, that my steps might be steady,keeping to the course you set;Then I'd never have any regrets in comparing my life with your counsel.I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.I'm going to do what you tell me to do;don't ever walk off and leave me.

How can a young person live a clean life? 
      By carefully reading the map of your Word.I'm single-minded in pursuit of you;don't let me miss the road signs you've posted.I've banked your promises in the vault of my heart so I won't sin myself bankrupt.Be blessed,God;train me in your ways of wise living.I'll transfer to my lips       all the counsel that comes from your mouth;I delight far more in what you tell me about living       than in gathering a pile of riches.I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you've done it.I relish everything you've told me of life,I won't forget a word of it.

So i've been studying this over and over. I would write about it, and what it means to me,as i like to do with alot of scriptures, but this is unchangeable,it speaks so true in itself. For when you have nothing else, You have Jesus to hold to, and then, you have everything.
If you're like me and have no clue what all you'll do on the road ahead, just stay on The road, His pathway, and you can't go on. For God's not a life coach that will just sit on the side and tell you "helpful hints to walk a decent pace"... no, he comes along side of you and is always with you. He's that voice behind you that says "this is the way, walk in it" (Isaiah 30).  

So while life may be confusing, and there may be so many different pathways and choices to make, pursue. Pursue God's heart, and you'll find yourself walking his way. For when you pursue the heart of God, you know Him, and know his ways and his heart. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


okay, soooo where to start, where to start! there's so much to say! okay so basics....

Weather- when I first got here, the weather was absolutely miserable. it was freezing(like, 7 degrees Celsius..idk what that is in Fahrenheit,but it's cold.) and it was raining ALL THE TIME. everyone kept apologizing for the weather and was like "oh, you came at the worst time, this is the wettest week Sydney's had in 60 years"......oh joy. but it has gotten warmer, and dryer, and it's great weather for the past few days, especially today, it's beautiful outside! it's about 60 degrees( Fahrenheit) and sunny! Praise the Lord!so things are looking up!

Housing- I was so blessed to be put in a flat(apartment)  people that already lived here, so EVERYTHING i needed was already here, i.e couches, fridge,microwave,tv,furniture, dishes,etc.. so that was such a blessing!I'm in the flat with 3 1 year,second semester girls,all americans, and they're great :) I'm rooming with a girl named Rooney, and then the two girls in the other room are Caroline and Deirdra. They've all been great and sweet and keep me laughing. I'm on the 9th floor of the Meriton apartments, and have a balcony with an awesome view of the city skyline! we have a balcony off of the living room,kitchen,living room, dining area, 2 bedrooms,and 2 bathrooms(each with shower,sink,toilet,and GIANT bathtub). it's nice, i like it alot. It's only about an 8 minute walk from the Campus so it's not a bad walk at all.

Church life- I am LOVING being a part of Hillsong Church! I have only been to a few services but the ones i've been to were such a blessing and just awesome. I've been to Chapel twice(church service just for the college on tuesdays and fridays),Powerhouse(young adult ministry for 18-25 year olds),Fuel(youth for 7-9th graders),Sisterhood(the amazing women's ministry at the church),and then the Saturday night the charts amazing! I'll soon plug into a connect group(small groups on tuesday nights) and then get more involved in the weekend services starting this week. i'm pretty excited! God is moving :)

College!- Enrollment and orientation last week was great! Got to meet alot of the new intakes and kinda get a little bit of the swing of how things work around here. Then I had my first day of school yesterday! it was fantastic! like, bible college is the best, i'm pretty sure. the first 2 weeks are called Intensives...and now i know why... it's class from 10-5:30 on one topic(yesterday's was alll about Teamwork), and sooo it's a ton of really great information at one time, but it's soo good. we also had chapel yesterday during school hours and that was great! it's so cool to be in church as part of College. But yeah, i'm not real sure about how the rest of it goes yet, but i'll find out soon enough! during intensives, student's are off on mondays and wednesdays. sooo it's a nice break.

well that's all for now, but will update more soon!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I will Follow

Let the world see your grace in my hands. Let them hear your name on my lips.
Be my strength when I'm weak, a peace beyond understanding.

And when the world fades away, and no one will call Your Name...

I will go. I will follow You to the ends of the Earth.

I will follow you, anywhere you want me to. I will follow you, anywhere you want me too.
-Flood. = I will follow.

sooo as being on of the co-writers of this infamous Shockwave anthem, It means a great deal to me. However, I will be the first to say-there was a time in life where I was sick of it from playing it SO much, but it's okay because I still and have always loved it. Anyways, I do have a point here.
Clearly, song lyrics have meaning, especially worship songs. Sometimes worship songs are "sticky" business because lyrics you sing  can become the prayers of your heart, and those prayers become your heart song, and that is what God longs to get from you.(I am reminded of a quote- You did not desire a song, but a heart that would bring you one.)
So,when "I will follow you, anywhere you want me to" became my heart song, God took me seriously.(As he should, because it was a serious statement/confession/proclamation/prayer of mine).  I vividly remember a conversation God and I had during band practice one Sunday morning in November 2009
"Anywhere, Kaitlyn?" 
                  "Uhhh, yeah?"
         "So you really mean that.?"
                            "yes. I do. Anywhere, Anytime, Any place. I have no clue where I'd be otherwise."
         "Well then Go to Australia. Go here."
                       (random Hillsong interview video starts playing on the screens. the video is an interview of the woman who wrote Desert Song and her story behind it.)
                          *Kaitlyn's mini-breakdown quietly inside during practice
        "You said anywhere. I've got you. Follow me. This is where you need to be."

So yes. Moral of the Story here- There are a good number of what we consider "dangerous" prayers in life. The 3 most dangerous prayers I can think of:

  1. "Break my heart for what breaks yours,God"
  2. "I will follow you anywhere you want me to"
  3. "make me uncomfortable with my current state."
I've prayed all three of these. He'll do it for ya if ya mean it, I promise. 

And like Ty always says "I will follow you anywhere doesn't just mean far off places like Australia, Japan, or Africa. Anywhere includes your schools,your family, your friends, and every aspect of your life". So I encourage you to not limit yourself to thinking of "callings" as "oh i'm called to Zimbabwe, Brazil, Germany,China,etc.." As a christian, everyone is commissioned to go and make disciples for God's namesake. Your call is to be a witness to those around yo,wherever you may be, Right Now an in the future.

God takes matters of the heart seriously, so mean what you sing :)


Saturday, July 2, 2011


Your hurricane of angels is a comfort and a warning. For with their arrival comes your hand, but because of their presence, I know a storm is at bay...

Consume me with your peace so much that i cannot find means of escape. For your means make no sense to me; I will never understand how strength inhibits the weak. But in the curious unknown..I must trust I'll gain back more faith in return.

Why you test if I will fight To have faith is a mystery... but it's worth the wondering. For pondering your ways,and praying for wisdom can only lead to growing closer to My Love.

Oh the places I have been... Paris, France (pt.1)

We spent quite a few days in Paris, and saw and experienced SO much that it would be over kill to post about the whole time there in one blog post!

First stop-The hotel:
views from my room!look!you can even see the tip of the Eiffel Tower!

yes.this is my converter hanging out of the window. It caught on fire and was smoking BAD when I tried to use my straightener. note:american straighteners just don't like Europe.dont even try it.
aly and i were kind of messy...but there's NO room in these hotels.
 beautiful sunsets where at 10 p.m!
the circular shape of the hotel made the halls look like a cruise liner! 

The City!:
 yes. it really looks just like this-amazing!


Le champs elysees!

interesting architecture.

city scene:my view of the town from the 4th floor of Louis Vuitton!The right picture is the inside of that floor, it was superb!(and then I got busted and almost had my camera confiscated!woops..)
brooklyn and I outside of the Biggest Louis Vuitton!

Dôme des Invalides:
this is Napoleon's tomb. He is apparently in 6 different parts and therefore has 6 different tombs.It all sounds pretty gruesome to me, but it was a stunning building regardless.

all the gold on this door is REAL gold!

 such a HUGE building...or crypt..or both..

how magnificent is this ceiling!!!

so i would have gotten to take more pictures the first full day there....but my camera died. :( soo i pulled some pictures of St.Germain de Paris, where our choir sang that night, from Ryan Taylor's camera!
this is the oldest church in paris!
 waiting outside until we performed
this is our concert that afternoon!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Oh the places I have been... Switzerland-France

so.after Lucerne, we treked off to Paris! However, this was an 11 hour a bus of 76 people. it,interesting.and lloooongg. BBUUTT! I felt like I was exploring the land of Belle from Beauty and the Beast! It was simply charming (the scenery, that is.) so, here goes the gorgeous french countryside!:
 my bus buddy- Ethan!
 bus buddies across the aisle- savannah and rachel!
 and so the journey begins..
how cute!!little cottages

there were MANY castles along the way!how cool is that!
okay. i love this guy-but this was torture. He bought Chicken&thyme flavored/scented chips at the french gas station. they tasted JUST like baked a chip.yuck. but they smelled SO TERRIBLE.made the trip,ugh.

cottages everywhere..

 finally in Paris! look at that traffic!!

and this is the beginning of our adventure in Paris :)

Oh the places I have been... Lucerne, Switzerland

 After the Choir went to Zurich, we went ahead to the beautiful Lucerne. After we drop off our luggage at the hotel, we explore the old town for several hours. The second day, we toured around all parts of the town, lead by some tour-guide-locals. That night, we sang in the Jesuit church in Lucerne for their Wednesday night mass! It was an incredible experience!

isn't it gorgeous!

 busy old town
so many pretty swans everywhere all the time!
look at this view!those are the Swiss Alps in the background!

 this is the famous Tower Bridge of Lucerne. the story goes it caught on fire many years ago and it's still standing. that's pretty hardcore if you ask me.
i have no idea what that was, but it was HUGE!

My view of Old Town from the bridge.

how cute is this! i love it! i had the best gelato ever from the place with all the umbrellas.

My group(Brooklyn and her mom,aka my chaperone, Mrs.Jennifer,and I) got tired of trying to read german menus, so we settled for McDonalds for lunch :) and look! the trash can says danke! how cute.
the Train station! It almost doubled as a mall, with it's grocery store( Co-Op is the bomb!) shops,and restaurants!good ol' paul eatin in the cafe at the station

these little cookie sandwiches were originated here in switzerland! 

 market! once a month, there is a street market here. it was great and had good deals!
 free coffee from the lady in the green shirt. she hand made the cups!they tasted like dirt though :/

 this is the church we sang in!

 the famous Lion monument. it was soo stunning!

the hotel:

 my roomie, Aly Janes!
 yes folks, this is actual size. and no, there is no shower door nor curtain.