Is that all there is?

Bowden at Counseling Notes recently had an interesting conversation which he shares in his post Meaning of Life.

I had an interesting conversation with a teenager today. A good kid from a good family that attends a good church.

I asked him what it meant to be a Christian.

“It means you’ve accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.”

Okay, that’s a nice, correct answer. What does it mean?

“It means I’m going to heaven.”

Alright, but most people grow old and die before they go to heaven. What about between now and then? What does being a Christian mean in the here and now?

“If you pray for things, you can get stuff.”

Wow. Just… wow.

If that’s all there is I’d rather forget it.

Is that really what young people, or even most people, in churches today understand following Christ to mean?

When did Christ’s message change from giving our lives for others to having a magic genie that gives us stuff and provides a nice place to go when we die? When did the focus change from the glory of God to the satisfying of men’s petty desires?

I know that this teenager has given a very simplistic answer but I wonder how deep that kind of thinking goes. Are our churches just another instrument of a consumer society?

I wonder what kinds of answers we’d get if we asked some of the people we know what it means to be a Christian. If you’re a Christian what does it mean to you?

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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Thumbs Up! Edition Five

Time for Edition Five of Thumbs Up!

Thanks to those who have taken part this time around. It’s been a light week but there are a couple of wonderful posts to highlight.

If this is the first you’ve heard of Thumbs Up! and you’re wondering what it’s about you can read the details here.

Deano has written a post that gives a big Thumbs Up to Trent at his blog My Jarrol Spot. Trent is a very talented photographer and Deano has displayed some of his amazing work on his blog.

Over at Romi’s Journal Romi presents Thank you, Ai, a tribute to a friend whose simple gift came to mean so much.

My Thumbs Up! this week goes to the many hundreds of supporters who got behind 98.5 Sonshine FM during the eight day radio that finished on Friday. Their generosity still amazes me. There were times that we thought we wouldn’t reach our goal but the listeners came through, not only reaching the goal but exceeding it. The messages of support that came with the donations are an inspirational encouragement for all who put in long hours to make Radiothon a reality.

I don’t think I’ve left anyone out but if you did post a submission this week and you can’t see it here, please email me so that I can add your post. If you missed out on being a part of Thumbs Up! this week, get posting now and submit for next week.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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Can I sleep now?

After eight incredibly busy days, 98.5 Sonshine FM’s Radiothon 2007 wound down on Friday evening after achieving an amazing result.

Last year we set a target of $200 000 for the annual fund raising event. That was double what we had received in any previous appeal but we put it out there to because we felt it was what we needed towards the buliding of our new broadcast complex.

Our listeners didn’t just help us reach $200 000, they pushed past it to pledge around $267 000.

At the start of this year’s event we set the target even higher. We asked supporters to help us achieve the $295 000 we need to complete the new building.

Interest rates have recently gone up with promises of more rises, housing is less affordable and there’s a Federal Election coming up which usually adds to financial uncertainty and reduces giving.

Instead of the $295 000 we had asked for, we finished on Friday night with $303 884. More donations are still coming in. We are thankful and extremely humbled.

If you want to see what went on during the week you can have a look at some photos at the Radiothon 2007 Photo Gallery. The photo in this post shows fellow announcer Tim Long and I talking to West Coast Eagles legend, Glen Jakovich.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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Love Song

It was a gutsy effort.

We went to a wedding on Saturday afternoon and as part of the ceremony the groom grabbed the microphone, looked into the eyes of his bride, and sang to her. I don’t think he was aware of anyone else in the room because he just looked directly at the love of his life and sang his heart out.

It was one of moments that had all the women in the church going ‘Oh – how romantic’ and all the guys going ‘Has he got any idea how much trouble he’s causing?’

In that one moment when he opened his mouth to sing he raised the bar way too high for all the rest of us blokes. I know that as soon as the ceremony was over, women all around the church were asking their husbands why they hadn’t sung to them on their own weddings day.

What he did was courageous. He created a romantic moment that will live on in the hearts of everyone who was in the church that day.

Pauline’s heard my singing voice so I don’t know that she would have wanted me to sing to her on our wedding day. I feel that I showed my love for Pauline by not singing on our wedding day.

The guys I felt sorriest for were those who are still single. If their future brides were there, they’ve now got no excuse when their big day comes.

Posted by Rodney Olsen

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