Tuesday, 21 June 2011


So Contiki is ridiculously dope. Meet a good dude on the first night (the only one I can relate to) and now have a friend for life! So awesome, tripped over to France from England meeting a few of the Contiki fellows along the way, countryside was so sweet and not too shocked by the different language although I understand a small amount so thats helped. Also been really great with dealing with the Parisian attitude as speaking a little French can sometimes help but they really are just assholes most of the time. Everything is SUPER expensive, like a Coke is 6NZD, a beer in the club is like 8-10NZD minimum and up to 15NZD etc etc. Hopefully thats just Paris!!! But im not worrying about money because this is a trip of a lifetime and i can pay for it later :P

First day in Paris we saw the Effiel tower. BLOWN away as I was when seeing Big Ben. It just doesn't compare to anything when you actually see things. I feel overwhelmed with the depth of beauty in these old buildings, taken a LOT of photos when we journeyed around on day two but camera died coming down the tower. So missed photos of the Arc de Triumph up close but thats ok. Saw Mona Lisa. No big deal.

I'm so stoaked i didnt look into anything because everyday so far has NOT been a dissapointment, it really is the sickest time. Im so caught up in meeting all the people (surrounded by beautiful woman all day is really good fun) that I dont know if ill be able to keep up blogging but i want to write down things that i do so i rember them later. So excuse me if they are a jumble :) Got lost for 2h30min today which was funish, took the wrong metro and it was a good laugh, the Gardens at versailes were nice but didnt get in because the french were on strike. The louvre was amazing, as was the oblesix and wow i really cant spell at the moment either im SO TIRED. Only day 3 (4 technically) and im loving every minute, its worth every dollar.

Just doing my best to absorb and take in the amazing sights and the amazing people!!!!
Thought about home, which i dont miss but still look forward to coming home.
Steve if you're reading this i miss you bro, wish you were here to party it up with me because it is seriously so dope.

Au reviour!

Mental Note: Don't forget the mint night out listening to Parisian street music and being super chill, the pizza/coke by the Notre-dame, the beer on one of the roads from the Arc de Triumpe, partying at the Irish Pub, awesome dinner (quiche, beef stew, cheese, pastry and Ashley getting legless).

Thursday, 16 June 2011

A thought, simple enough

It's time I talked about one of my favorite ideas of this year.
"You cannot undo what you have done."

Simple, obvious, yet with greater consideration than a surface analysis it becomes almost a life changing idea. The idea itself is a truth, that we are only masters of our present and cannot change our past no matter how much we re-consider it. Consideration needs to be placed therefore on the vast consequences of our actions in the present, for they lead to the future in which the present becomes the past. Therefore our present defines where our future leads, not like we can know the consequences of each action/inaction but we can have at the very least a general idea.

What that all means is, much more time (almost all of it in fact) should be devoted to thought about the present. The past is a tool for learning and the future a reality that must be considered but both of these should play a very small role in your thinking. The impact of doing/saying or not-doing/saying something can be very minor or major but there will always be an impact. There is always ripples that creep into every other facet of life. I have found, time and time again that my focus on my future, where I want to end up, has caused me considerable disappointment, distress, anxiety and anger in the present. Instead of being satisfied with the stage of my life I am in, I seek after things I think I want. It has been a constant theme to my thoughts that I think not about the present (the journey) but instead about the future (the destination).

I'm very tired of being disappointed with my present. I was asked a few questions before I left home by a few people about what I look forward to most and in all honesty I often answered "coming home". Bizarre and no longer true, it was because coming home to me was coming home to a job I love and another summer in the home that i'm madly in love with (ask anyone i've met on my trip, i cannot STOP gloating about NZ.)

Your actions in the present seriously impact what will be possible in the future. Careless words or actions cannot be unsaid or undone. You can mitigate their effects but only so-far. This is part of why I seek after God so often when I am afraid of the present. I spent a time living in fear of doing, and so I did nothing which changed what my future could hold. I feared being bad at anything, so I didnt try any of the things I wanted to. Now my present (the old future) lacks me being able to play the piano, having a developed voice, being as fit as I wanted to be, knowing another language. How seriously my life is different because of these choices.

I decided to accept regrets as part of my life because I don't want the fear of regretting doing something to stop me from doing it. It is better, in most cases, to regret doing something than not doing something so for me the idea is more "you cannot re-do something you never did". It just sounds neater the other way around.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Standing on the edge.

I've been away for a little over 2 weeks now, slightly over budget but generally i've done fine. But I havn't even started what I set out to do yet, its just been some good times with an old friend. It's been great I have LOVED every minute of it but its like watching an old movie of who you were; enjoyable but not the same anymore.

The same. I have an exciting feeling that I am on the precipice of change. Who I am now is not the same as who I will be when I come home. If I come back the same I will have failed myself. I want change more than anything. Im tired of holding on to old things. I grow weary of this world and its lies, its fakers, it's sin. My sin. 

A question is asked "Do you want to become an old man, filled with regret, waiting to die alone?"
How many paths have I been sold that are 'sensible' or 'wise' but lead down to that ending? I've lived a life based around approval and acceptance at all cost and the cost, i see now, is far far too high. 
I no longer subscribe to the thought that I will live a life of no regrets. I will regret things both if i do them and don't do them, I cannot avoid regrets. 

I like to tout the truth. To claim it as my most prized trait, being honest. But what a joke it is, when I cannot even tell myself the truth. I have lied to myself for a very long time, and I didn't even know it.

I've bought so many lies in my life. I feel like my life has been scripted and written by others. I don't want this for me anymore. I want to free myself, from myself, to be myself. That freedom will only come from an intimacy with God on a level that surpasses every other aspect of my life.

I will not seek the destination as I so often do, instead I seek the journey. I feel a sense of determination and excitement :)

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Good things come in twos

Thought i'ld try some poetry.

"He slouched through the snow,
crunching the flakes to water as he labored from his camp,
to find a warmer dream away from his troubles,
he found the taste of nothing, disguised as water, to be his destination to go.

Then he found an army of dreamers who'd walked his song,
and they banded together tighter than any nut and bolt,
taking to the world to see the warmth finding their hearts once cold and troubled,
to be free in their simpler forms.

They saw flames and felt dread,
as the ones once proclaimed as God's to be much less than deity,
men wicked men took what they desired and stole everything but lead,
left to sit in the hearts of the people, who sank sank sank
to the lowest depths in their head.

Why birds stopped singing they never knew,
but the songs in their heads ever they grew,
until the first sang the song they had all known so long,
and the rest joined the first to make the score hum,
for the men of old had gone and their woes were healed in song."

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Lies damned lies and their delicious poison

As life progresses and I reflect on my life i've come to know some rather disappointing truth's about things.
Some I learnt early on others I learn recently and still there will be plenty more to learn in future.

First off, there is no Princess who will simply be stoaked to have me rock up and say "Hi", fall madly in Love with me for very little reason other than the fact i'm Prince Charming. Secondly, i'm not Prince Charming. Fairytales never happen. My fairytale dreams are hopes that drown me. I'm much more pragmatic than I am idealistic but that doesn't mean I won't let foolish little dreams sit in the back of my mind. They are not helpful in the least and i'm frequently disappointed in myself for spending so much time day dreaming about things that will never happen or at least never in the way I see them. Too much time is spent thinking about dreams I think I want and not enough on dealing with the current situation. I'm not entirely sure why I feed these idealistic dreams still. I think it might be because I can't quite accept the realities of life as much as i'ld like to think because lets face it reality often really sucks when compared to a fairytale. However, reality beats a fairytale hands down any day because it's real.

I must give some credit to my mum. She never read us fairytales or garbage like that, at least as far as I can remember. Making us believe in Santa, for example, would leave us with serious questions regarding the validity of Jesus when we found out Santa isn't real because lets face it the uninformed observer could be justified in calling Jesus a grown up's version of Santa Claus, where instead of presents at Christmas you get to live in Heaven when you die.

Back to the fairytales though, I really do wonder why on Earth they are so popular. I mean obviously there's Beauty and the Beast and Cinderella which Disney has gone and commercialized successfully. Then there's the grown up versions. I like fairytales, but they are a lie. It's like the movie "He just not that into you" where the main Character is the EXCEPTION. Uhm, actually no she's not. She's the rule. It's just that you wont leave the Cinema feeling good about the movie if it doesn't have a happy ending.

So disappointingly, i'll never meet a Princess just like i'll never be Prince Charming. Oh yes I will still try and depending on the strength of my relationship with God, I might even get close to a resemblance of the real deal. However, I don't want a Princess. I want a Woman. I'm not too fussy, i'll even leave it to God to decide. The world can say what they want about her but as long as God calls her a Princess, then that's enough for me. As for being Prince Charming, we'll I have come to the conclusion that he only lived once. However, I know him well and he's teaching me. Slowly...

She's Always a Woman to me. By Billy Joel
She can kill with a smile, she can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child, but she's always a woman to me

She can lead you to love, she can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth, but she'll never believe you
And she'll take what you give her as long it's free
Yeah, She steals like a thief, but she's always a woman to me

Ohhh... she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants, she's ahead of her time
Ohhh... and she never gives out
And she never gives in, she just changes her mind

And she'll promise you more than the garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you and laugh while you're bleeding
But she’ll bring out the best and the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself 'cause she's always a woman to me

She's frequently kind and she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases, she's nobody's fool
And she can't be convicted, she's earned her degree
And the most she will do is throw shadows at you, 
But she's always a woman to me

This fairytale thing however, it's not just about love. It's in everything. It's about your house, your friends, your family, your community. Everything. We have all these pre-concieved idea's about how things will be tomorrow which more often than not (at least for me) pay no respect for today's situation. I find it incredible how frequently I find myself running into these dangerous idea's. It's like in growing up we pick-up all these pictures of life and make a montage of our future lives based on these pictures. Real or imagined it doesn't matter, the montage is just whatever we thought was good at the time.

I've found these idea's to be a problem because they get in the way of going with God. I'll say no to God because I think that what God has will prevent me from living out that which I dream of. Regardless of whether or not it will prevent me, I shouldn't care about it. God's plan for me is the one I want. So I need to break down these idea's that say I want something else as I find them. A future I construct in my own mind, is not a future at all. It's a fairytale that re-writes itself constantly to stay relevant and possible. It's such a shame that I have this pathetic neediness about me that asks for my future to include some of my silly idea's. I should just be happy with my future including God.

Saturday, 11 June 2011


So just on the last leg of this Greyhound adventure with Tyler and I must say i'm glad its nearly over. It's been fun,  full of random really weird people (i.e. the crack dealer who offered Tyler some and the numerous crazies who talked to themselves BUT THANK GOD they didn't try talking to me). Cheap cheap food. But really unhealthy too :/ Im looking forward to a nice sandwich once we get settled in! The bus was really hard to sleep on and it was more like short naps rather than sleep. The bus also got a really funky toilet smell which is normal apparently and our bus driver MAY have drifted off at some point but i really don't think she did despite what Tyler says.

28hours on a bus with very short breaks in between, it really hasn't been too bad in all honesty. A fun adventure! However, the people have just been REAL different and even Tyler admits they are weird. So looking forward to Europe a lot now, getting very very excited about seeing the sites and meeting my Contiki friends. This trip has been a blast sofar and its only really just starting!!!

I've encountered a number of desperate people thus far. By desperate I mean people who just clearly don't have it together, from people living on the streets to just everyday people I met i've been really taken aback at how broken they are. Its hard to explain it but I feel that being in the absence of usual friends i've been forced to take notice of those outside my usual circles. Some of these people have been really awesome like Russell the Aussie, David the German, Fernando the Brazilian and Paris the Canadian however, others have just seems really really weird. Foreign I guess would be the word for it, but not foreign in the sense they come from a different country but moreso the different culture. This is not something new for me, its just that BECAUSE im overseas im actually taking notice. Im not sure if culture is the right word for it.

Walked past a man crying. Begging for help on the street. People just walked by.

How sad is that? Now my impression was this man was suffering withdrawl's from drugs i.e. crack (not based on anything solid just an impression) and so offering help was out of the question. Why? Because i'm travelling around the world and if im not careful i'll get taken advantage of by those who prey on tourists (nearly payed out $20 to a scammer with a neckbrace asking for money for his bus ticket. Told him no, then prayed to God to send this man back to me if he should be given the money. Few minutes later security walks by and i see them escorting the man outside. Good call Mat). Add into the fact that I have NO EXPERIENCE dealing with homeless or drug/alcohol addicts and I think it is best that I stay out of the situation.

Is this Good enough? Yes, yes i think it is. This is not my area of service. This is not something I feel convicted about. This is something that my moral guilt would demand of me, that I take action because I SHOULD.

Why is it that we expect so much of ourselves when we think of service of God's Kingdom? Why do we sent standards of sacrifice so high that we cannot ever hope to attain them? Should we not be satisfied with that which God has asked us to do in our own lives today and not make comparisons to others who give more, love more, worship more in our eyes?
I feel as if society has fed me a lie. That I am a super-hero character. That I can do miraculous things. When I really can't, I can only do that which God does with me. I wonder if I let my moral compass run unchecked and create expectations that are above and beyond my abilities to fulfill. I could be wrong but I feel as though apathy and overzealous expectations are the two extremes in my life which feed into one another. Because I place stupid expectations on what I can achieve I choose to do nothing so that I never fail to live up to my own expectations I place on myself.

With that all said however, I limit God's power by placing too much importance on my own power and abilities. Why do I focus so much on what I THINK I can do instead of what I THINK God has asked me to do? For he can do all things.

There is no stage at which I will go "Aha! I'm ready" because I never will be. I need to be a man of action, but only when God calls me to be. I cannot be a victim to my own moral standards placing expectations on me which are unreasonable. God will only ask from us that which we are capable of doing whereas we can create unreasonable requests of ourselves to satisfy our moral-fueled guilt.

Friday, 10 June 2011

5 days?

Apparently it's been five days since my last blog.
Really hasn't felt that long to be honest, I suppose the perceived pace of time is picking up now i'm getting into the swing of travel.

I thought I should take this time to take down a list of what i've done here in Vancouver so I can keep the memories fresh.

Sunday 29th: Arrived, went for a walk down Davie St
Monday 30th: Went walking around the city, up and down Granville and a few other roads.
Tuesday 31st
Wednsday 1st
Thursday 2nd: Watched 1st Ice Hockey finals game
Friday 3rd:
Saturday 4th: Watched 2nd Ice Hockey finals game
Sunday 5th: Went shopping all around the place. Pacific Plaza and Metrotown.
Monday 6th: Went for a bike ride around Stanley Park/Sea Wall, all the way from the start of Stanley til Kitsilano Beach. BEST DAY EVER. Watched 3rd Ice Hockey finals game and went out drinking with Fernando and David
Tuesday 7th: Relaxed all day. Went out for a drink but only had 1 cause service was crap at the Steamwhistle. Said goodbye to Fernando and David.
Wednesday 8th: Relaxed and recovered from Tuesday night, watched 4th Ice Hockey finals Game
Thursday 9th: Recovered from Wed nyt haha. Went to the aquarium. Shopped for a book, had dinner at Nandos with Tyler and Russel and watch the latest X-Men movie.
Friday 10th: Left Vancouver

I'll have to revise most of that list at some point because im getting the dates wrong and forgetting a lot of what we did. Not like we really did much, just wandered around and had fun haha. So I really like Vancouver, it's a very beautiful city. I liken it a lot to Auckland in some ways but then again its very very different. Has been a blast to be here while Stanley Finals Ice Hockey matches have been played! Amazing atmosphere, look forward to being home for the RWC Finals :P.

Im really looking forward to Europe now, I feel relaxed in travelling at the moment but we shall see how the trip down to San Fran deals with that. I was hoping to blog about something meaningful i've been thinking about but (a) i've forgotten it and (b) i've started to feel too tired to bother haha.

So i'll end the blog here. Im learning to hold back saying things a bit more now, finding that sometimes the truth is not enough justification to allow for things to be said. I need to learn more about filtering my words for their appropriateness. It's hard though, to hold back saying things you want to say but sometimes the hard things in life are the only things worth doing.

If there is something you would like to hear me blog about i'm open to suggestions. Feel free to suggest anything, you'll be amazed (or maybe not) at how much I can get out of the smallest tidbit.

Thanks for reading, sorry this is a bit boring.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Not even shoes.

I wake up after a night of absolute MAYHEM. Vancouver came alive last night and i'm not sure if I will ever get to experience anything like it. It was as if the greatest thing had happened and they all wanted to celebrate it together. But it was just a hockey match. Just a game. Just another season.

It's as if people are so desperate for something to be in unity about. Something to hold on to and cherish together. Something they can be passionate about and get lost in. And they choose a game of all things?
I saw last night, a street full of drunk/stoned joyful people. It was breathtaking, mindblowing and mostly awesome. One memory however, sticks out. Leaving the 7/11 store there was a poor person opening/closing the door. He was just trying to do something to get some more money, most likely for food or for alcohol or prostitution. There was this moment where I looked back and saw his face. He had nothing to be excited about. He could not join in the celebration. While he lived and breathed the same life that everyone else did, he was not at all interested in some game. He had no home. The next meal was probably going to be leftovers or a bottle of vodka. How can we celebrate a game, when there are those of us who are so poor and so lost? I fear that we have missed something huge, something foundational about the Kingdom of God when it does not break our hearts and insist that we take action when we see this disparity. Its almost as if we have hardened our hearts to the things that we don't think we can change, or have no desire to change. We have to really. How on earth could we not be convicted to act? We have told ourselves a lie. Or bought into someone else's.

Yet this is not even the worst part of things. Im writing a little blog about this little thing that I have seen, thats talked about by countless people before me and will be talked about by countless people after me because WORDS will be my greatest measure of impact on this situation. What a joke. It's as if we see death on the streets and respond:

"Have no fear, I will speak of your situation with all the articulation and eloquence that I can!"

How terribly disappointing that would be. Better for me to have said nothing at all and remained naive or ignorant than to have seen and responded in such a manner. Instead I should take action. Meaningful action. Make change. Be the change. However, I wont. I know I wont. And that, is the saddest thing of all.

It comes from my heart. I have compassion, but not enough. I have love, but not the strength to support it. I wonder how much Jesus weeps to know that. To know that a voice, sometimes so eager to sing praise TRUELY knows very little of it. I'm ashamed. Yet i refuse to get to this point in my thinking and lie to myself or to anyone else by pretending I will do something about it, or that I don't need to do something due to some logical loophole of a lie I concoct. I may be a coward but at least I will have the courage to admit that my reality is far from the man I wish to be.

It takes a lot out of me. And I do it far far far more than I think anyone realizes. I am frequently vulnerable and armor-less with many of my friends, it's the life that I have chosen but it is not an easy one, especially when I want so desperately to be that White Knight riding in to save those he loves.

I live in a constant state of disappointment in the man that I am. I do my very best to be less of me and more of God, but it seems whenever I get close some insecurity will take hold and I will fail once again. How can you have hope in yourself when every time you go to stand up, you fall?

I have built a life that is half rock and half sand, and because I lack the courage to live honestly in either, I live in a house of great diversity. The child in me looks on in disgust at the failure to live up to my own expectations and perceptions of my future-self. I have been sold into a lie that superhero's exist and that I am one. The adult in me looks on feeling much much older than I am. Full of tears and thoughts of regret, with a deep fear of the childs accusing stare and demands. Demands based on an absolute lie. Expectations that could never in a million years be fulfilled because it is at the START and not the END of the day, that I am empty and broken. A shell of the man that God created me to be. I have built a heart in sand. In things, titles, achievements and most heartbreakingly of all in other people. My heart so strongly desires and needs such simple things from certain people in my life. However, when the needs, minor though they may be, are not met then the house crumbles. The heart breaks.

I need to die to myself to life in Christ alone. BUT I must also die to these lies. I cannot go on with these false bridges of life, these shaky foundations that were required by some weak and lonely kid in school because I have been failed more often than not. Foundations requiring the smallest of things will one day fail because they require another human being to not fail me. And that is one thing I can be most certain of. That regardless of my every great intention or well thought out idea I will be failed. Even by those who I love with everything I can.

My heart is in grief. How can I ever talk about helping others. How can I even CONSIDER helping others, when I myself am just as lost and broken as anyone else. You can be surrounded by any number of things and still feel just as desperately lost as someone on the street who has nothing. Death does not have any consideration for social order. It simply comes and takes and takes and takes from us until we have nothing more remaining. It is a lie to believe there is a greater need on the other side of town. A lie that cripples us into inaction. The truth is there is need everywhere. Even in the strongest of men or the powerful of woman, there is need. There is pained and broken hearts even in those surrounded by a glow of life, death has its hold on them too. Why walk a mile to fight Death when it is at my doorstep?

BUT o how I am not lost in woe or sadness. I do not feel self-pity. I am blessed beyond my understanding. I am loved in a way I don't even barely understand yet. And that most disgusting horrific word that i loathe and detest, HOPE. It is for me too. Hope for a better today. Hope for the grace of the father to set me free and bring healing to a broken and tortured heart. Hope for better foundations. Hope. I can only end with Hope, because the unmistakeable failure that I am, has nothing else.

Praise be to the Lord my God.

Friday, 3 June 2011

The pursuit of happiness.

Day 4.
Weather's crap let do nothing.

Day 5.
Great weather, crap breakfast (they ran out of bagels).
Today I wondered if I still seek happiness. I don't want to seek it but I probably still do. See I think finding happiness is often (but not always) really just a lie, more like being anesthetized to reality. For example intoxication both alcohol and 'love' (maybe it's a little cynical to put love in there, but i'm in a funk so its going in).

Are we ever really happy when we seek after things of the world and not of the Kingdom or is it just a small snapshot of emotion that just doesn't last. Happiness seems to be an elusive dream of a reality. Living a happy life? What a joke. Doing my best i'm not even happy half the time, although i'm learning to fake it more so life runs a bit more smoothly and people don't avoid you like the plague which in turn would reduce the frequency of happiness. See thats my measure of it at least. It's pretty sad that my happiness is directly impacted by other people and that without the right vibes I can easily sink into an absence of happiness and begin a nice downward spiral. That's why I can lose chunks of time to a video game, cause I get to jump ship from where i'm at and no-one else can impact me anymore. False and a lie but it works very well to avoid admitting how unhappy I am.
Screw happiness, I don't want to be happy. I want peace and joy cause they last through everything and maybe Love too if I get lucky enough to find that somewhere.

I have to turn towards God for my needs and intimacy not to games, booze or people. Otherwise i'll keep running in circles getting no where and being a prophet for my own drama.

I finally found a flat peak i like. I know people are gonna diss me for it and think I look stupid but I'm not gonna care, cause i want one :)

"If only I could press the eject button
to release and abandon all my own intentions, desires and selfish thoughts
to embrace fully the Holy Spirit
living by the grace of the King of Kings while disregarding the lies of thieves,
to stand up instead of fall down
breaking deceit with the Word and healing death with Christ's love,
oh let the day come when I can say with all legitimacy
that I am dead to myself
and alive in you."

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

48 Hours in Duration

I like you but not enough to say I love you. You're too much like everything I know. But don't distress, I still love to be with you. You're quirky and different which I like a lot. You've made me reflect on my attitude towards what makes someone a Christian.

I learnt about a box that was made by a man, for men and woman to find safety. I loved this box. I didn't have to try to get in because I was born in here. As i'm growing however, i'm finding no measure of satisfaction in the size of this box. No home to treasure or live forever, no this box is made on hypocrisy and a poorly disguised evolution from the in-crowd from wherever. What else did i expect from a man-made box?

I'm looking for the unmade box from God. The one which has no hypocrisy. The one where everyone is in if they want to be. The one who measures apples in apples alone and not some pedigree of luxurious brand or breed. Your apple, their apples and my apples. One and the same but altogether different.

So thank you for the time we've had so far.


P.s. We both know I look terrible in green, so lets pain it blue or red but anything other than plain!