New location from tonight.
1/114 warners ave, Bondi Beach
We’ve been so reminded lately of the goodness and mercy of God when people pray with faith and helplessness. lets not just pray for our own little worlds, lets take this to the city. Join us and many others this Saturday night
To glorify something or someone is to praise, enjoy, and delight in them. When something is useful you are attracted to it for what it can bring you or do for you. But if it is beautiful, then you enjoy it simply for what it is. Just being in its presence is its own reward. To glorify someone is also to serve or defer to him or her. Instead of sacrificing their interests to make yourself happy, you sacrifice your interests to make them happy. Why? Your ultimate joys to see them in joy.
Hey, my name’s Jess. I’m a part of the Pavilion Redeemer Bondi crew. I am a creative, I work in book publishing, I write and make music, I dance, I’m studying marketing and can’t live a second without Jesus.
On Friday morning last week, 7:15am, I stood in the middle of my new street down in Bondi and wept.
Someone had broken into my car during the night, smashing a quarterback window (the most expensive window on a car to replace) and rummaged through my stuff. Thankfully there was nothing to take but what a great way to start my Friday!
I own an electric blue Mazda hatchback. She’s fought many wars with me, too many to name (and a few scratches and scars to commemorate them). Since our driving relationship began I’ve only had to replace the clutch once and the car battery twice. She’s budget, she’s blue and she’s a babe.
That morning like a big, emotional, exhausted woman, I wept. This break in had come at the end of a particularly bad week. This break in had come at the end of a particularly hard 6 months. This break in had come at the end of an incredibly hard 2-3 years.
All I wanted to do was sit down, cry, cancel work for the day, eat bad food, watch mindless telly, sleep and wish it all away.
The break in – along with the years that have led me to Bondi – have brought me to my knees every, single, day. I don’t know where you stand but I feel as though every day brings more challenges that I struggle to deal with again and again and again. No money, need a house, get dumped, need a job, need to study, stuff up at work, need to help my friend, get dumped, need to see my family, need to go grocery shopping, need to clean the bathroom, get dumped, need to plan this, lose a friendship, need to call that person, need to call Medicare, need to book that appointment. It’s exhausting. Life is so exhausting. I think of all those things and wonder if I have it in me to do any of it. Last September I was in New York and was so tempted to never fly back home – I knew if I came home I’d have to deal with more stuff. It would be much easier to spend the rest of my days playing music in bars in New York City, taking weekend trips to DC, lying in the grass in Central Park like the ultimate hippy. Flying away from life is such an easy (temporary) solution.
Then amidst that I felt God call me down to Bondi. Part of me went: ‘But God there is all this other stuff!! How on earth can I then turn around and help start a new church? I’m shattered!’
If there’s one thing I have learnt from these crazy, crazy years – it’s this: God knows and understands (!) every inch of detail about all of my situations and about me. And He actually cares enough about it to do something about it if I let Him in. He’s sat with me on bedroom floors while I’ve cried my eyes out and I’ve felt Him hold me until I fall asleep. He’s blessed me with new gifts that hey, may not have been what I’ve planned, but have been BETTER than anything I had planned for myself (I’m an accidental musician). As soon as I have felt stressed, out of control, under the weather, carrying weight, under pressure, bordering on tears God has swooped in, grabbed those weights in my heart and calmed me down with His peace that knocks all of that stuff out of the park. When I ask Him – often in hysterical tears or frustration – He comes to me and reminds me in my heart and soul that He KNOWS, and He loves me and He’s carrying it for me. I can breathe again. I am not alone in this perpetual fight. And He’s planned a party in Heaven for me where none of these feelings and frustrations exist.
Then as I continue to walk forward He guides me in my decisions, He grows me in maturity as a chick, He provides when I have $4 left in my bank account, He gives me relief with a Saturday afternoon off when I’m shattered. He sends a friend to me when I need to cry about something. He holds me again when I feel lonely. He loves me. I can trust Him. I can trust Him. I can trust Him.
Often in this place God reminds me again of this reality: this life, this existence that we live, this world we live in, this beach community, these days I have, all the “things” I have or have access to – they’re not about me. At all. Never have been and never will be. It’s like before they realized our solar system didn’t revolve around the Earth, but instead, the Sun. Now we look into our solar system with updated technology and go: ‘How the hec did we get that so incredibly wrong? Duh.’ The solar system of God’s infinite kingdom doesn’t revolve around me, it revolves around Him.
That means I don’t have to have it all together. I don’t have to have everything in control because I’m not in a position of control. I have only to trust Jesus to be King over everything in my life and this world, and ask Him for his guidance when I’m stuck. Praise the Lord, oh my word.
If my back window is broken it doesn’t matter. I asked God and He has provided me with the finances to get it fixed. It’s just a window. Nothing was stolen. I am ok. The world keeps spinning and God hasn’t changed – it wasn’t His fault that my window was broken. He knew it would happen, He swooped in and helped me the minute it did, and He reminded me that this broken world will be replaced by a whole Kingdom where these feelings will be felt no more. Sweet, sweet relief.
I know that other Bondi-ians cry those same tears – Bondi-ians who live in my building, in my street, in the backpackers down the road, at the bus stop at 3 in the morning, at the bathroom in the pub, on a surfboard out the back, on the coastal run towards Coogee. I know they feel the same burdens I feel. We’re all human and we all suffer and feel chained and feel burdened at some point – sometimes we know it, sometimes it’s hidden, waiting to show itself.
I desperately don’t want to cry those tears of exhaustion, frustration and lostness. When I get to that place I cry those tears as a prayer saying: ‘God I’m in that place again, help me, help me, help me.’ I’m sure I’ll be crying this prayer for the rest of my life. But every time I do I know God knows before I say those words, and I know He’ll respond. And I know Heaven won’t have me on my knees in tears, but in joy as I sit at the feet of Jesus who has carried me through each day here on earth. What a relieving, blessing, GOOD God.
I felt led to sing a song that God has placed on my musical heart these last few weeks, but particularly in relation to the events of this last week – it’s called ‘Sovereign Over Us’, written and performed by Aaron Keyes. I really like it as a song/lyrically but it also hits this idea head on. Hope you like my version.
To conclude on the car situation: it turned a little bit CSI after the break in – the cops came and got my statement while one of them (he was so kind!) said: ‘Ah what a shame, guess this isn’t the weekend you had planned!’ (bless him). I then had my car finger printed by forensics – turns out the culprit was wearing gloves based on the print on the door, on my belongings inside and on the window (see the pic). Part of me hopes the guy who broke in and rummaged through a box of my EP’s grabbed a copy, listened, and is writing a review on iTunes as we speak!
This week at Pavilion we start our new ? series. We’re exploring ten things that define our identity, life, feel and action as we follow Christ, share life and love Bondi.
The big question we are exploring tomorrow night is “What are we primarily on about”
Come join in. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Love the inspired creativeness that surrounds us in the people of Pavilion Redeemer. Bring on more.
This is take 3: first rough iPad vocals (forgive the choppiness, not incredibly flexible on the iPad but helpful for getting the words first time). More coming…
This is a new track I’m developing in an electronic style. Have a listen - it’s just the skeleton of the track at the moment, essentially the beat with a tiny bit of instrumentation.
Lyrics are also coming together along these lines:
* Creator of the earth and skies above, the earth, you hold my soul
* Worry lines they are erased, You mighty face, glorious grace
* Chains are off and I am free, because I see, Your love for me
* I move on toward the light, You’ve fought my fight, for my delight
* God, my God, my God, my God
* Hold me in don’t let me go, oh let me know, You love me so
* Annihilate my selfish ways, change what I say, change all today
* Fill me up with fire and strength, to fight to the enth, for any length
* For You are God my God my God my God
* God, my God, my God, my God
More of this track will come along soon!
(C) Jess Starreveld 2013
So encouraged that we could join likeminded peeps in praying for Sydney last Saturday night. Standing to pray for Sydney where the first sermon in Australia was preached was more than nice and symbolic, it was strategic, humbling and full of hope. May this message of true grace that was preached then continue to resound in and through out Sydney. Bring on the next stop of the tour - Town Hall stairs.
#praysdny #pavilionredeemer #bondi #church
It’s Easter Bondi
“When Buddha died he cried “strive without ceasing”. When Jesus died he cried “it is finished”. When Buddha died he said “pay what you owe”! When Jesus died he said “I have paid it all” ”
Pass it on….
Just wanted to invite everyone, regardless of which church you come from, to join as we begin a Prayer Tour of our great city! We will be meeting at different significant sights around Sydney to intentionally pray for the needs of our city as it pertains to the Gospel. This is the first of what we hope to be several of these times that we can all get together irregardless of what corporate gathering we come from to be a physical presence in the city that is seen to be loving Sydney through prayer. The plan is to gather on the second Saturday night of every month at this stage! Please feel free to pass this along to whomever you like!
2 Chronicles 7:13-15