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RodneyOlsen.net

The Voice Grows Silent

Sometimes we find ourselves in a place where God begins to speak louder and more clearly than previously. Through the Holy Spirit, His voice directs us, challenges us, comforts us. So how do we capture those promptings and ensure they have more than a passing effect?

Over the past couple of months as I cycled across Australia, God used that radical change in daily routines to speak to me. It wasn’t as if I had extra time to hear from God. My ‘busyness’ levels were higher than ever but when we’re placed into different circumstances we can’t just fall into mindless routines. We’re forced to think differently.

I’m not sure I could even articulate everything God has been saying. Some of the conversation has been an invitation to go deeper, to seek greater closeness, to explore more of who He is and what that means for me. God reinforced care for the poor and care for those we encounter every day.

As life starts returning to ‘normal’ (whatever that is) there is the very real danger that the voice that was so clear in past weeks will grow increasingly silent. It won’t happen intentionally but everyday, ordinary life has a habit of crowding out the extraordinary. So how do times of the extraordinary help form a ‘new normal’?

Routines are helpful and the day to day stuff of life demands our attention but how do we intentionally grab hold of those times of difference and ensure they continue to reform the everyday stuff of life? How do we ensure that we are the ‘good soil’ that doesn’t let our busy lives choke out what’s important?

“Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” – Mark 4:3-8 ESV

I think part of the answer is in examining routines and deciding if there are any that we need to let go to make way for more helpful routines. We need to make way for those moments where God has our attention and can speak. We need to reset our priorities regularly to see if those things that are lasting and eternal have given way to the temporary and passing pursuits of this world.

We also need to act on what we hear, we need to practice obedience to what God is calling us to do or be.

Perhaps we should be writing down those ‘nudges’ the Holy Spirit gives us and returning to those notes often so that the directions we are given become part of our new routines.

How about sharing what God is saying with others so that they can be part of the journey you’re taking?

These are just a few thoughts and really only scratch the surface. I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do we ensure the voice we heard so clearly does not become silent?

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RetroRadio – Grumpy Old Women

I realised last weekend that my blog has been around for fifteen years. That’s a long time to be sharing thoughts with the world.

Back in the day, there was a fair bit of traffic here and quite a lot of interaction. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others changed the face of blogging but some of us are still plugging away with personal blogs, even though my posting isn’t exactly what you’d call regular.

As I looked back over more than three and a half thousand posts, starting on the 3rd of November 2003, one of the things I realised is that I’ve recorded and posted hundreds of radio interviews. They all came from my time at 98five Sonshine FM and cover everything from issues of spirituality to chats with visiting musicians and celebrities.

Over the coming weeks, I’m going to re-post some of those interviews. Hopefully, they’ll spark a few memories and a few thoughts.

I’ll start off with a chat from back in May 2007

I know that they don’t look very grumpy … but they are.

I had the opportunity to chat to Linda Robson and Jenny Éclair who were in Perth for Grumpy Old Women Live.

We chatted about the hit BBC television program that launched the show and I asked them what makes them grumpy about Australia.

They were very complimentary about our land down under and couldn’t find too much to complain about here ….. until Jenny remembered seeing some of our morning television.

She didn’t mind the programs but she found it a bit odd when it came to a very long advertisement about a ladder. I suggested that it’s a very good ladder but she wasn’t convinced.

Jenny Éclair is a comedian, actress, novelist and radio presenter. Although I’d never seen any of her work before the Grumpy Old Women TV show, I immediately warmed to her in that program and so I was thrilled that she was able to drop into our studios.

Linda Robson is perhaps best known for her role as Tracey Stubbs in the BBC series Birds of a Feather.

If you’d like to hear what the Grumpy Old Women had to say just click the play button on the audio player below.

[Note: All RetroRadio interviews on RodneyOlsen.net are a snapshot of the time they were recorded. We all grow and change and so the opinions and thoughts of those in the interviews at the time of recording may or may not necessarily be the same as they are today.] Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading RetroRadio – Grumpy Old Women? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks. 🙂

A Very Long Way to Ride a Bike

I’ve made it to Balladonia … by bicycle.

If you haven’t caught up with what I’m doing, I’m currently cycling across Australia for highly vulnerable children living in extreme poverty.

Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast started in Perth, Western Australia on Saturday the 15th of September. We will arrive at Compassion’s head office in Newcastle, New South Wales on Tuesday the 16th of October.

We’re travelling with 24 cyclists and a support team of 9.

We’ve finished 6 of our 28 riding days and had 1 of our 4 rest days. The average riding distance for our riding days is just over 155 kilometres. Our longest days are just under 200 kilometres.

Today’s journey from Norseman to Balladonia covered almost 192 kilometres. That’s our second longest day of the whole trip. In a few days we’ll ride our longest distance of 195 kilometres.

If you’d like to support my part in the ride you can do so in two ways.

I am personally seeking to raise $15,000. I really need your help to make that a reality.

You can make a direct donation to my fundraising page. Your donation will touch the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our world through Compassion’s Highly Vulnerable Children’s Fund.

Every child in poverty is vulnerable, but some children are at risk of the most deplorable situations in the world.

Children whose parents who have left, died, or are unable to provide for them, children exposed to exploitation and children with special needs are highly vulnerable. They often find themselves on the edge of extremely dangerous situations like child labour, gang violence, trafficking, and life on the street.

So far, I received donations from $10 to $1,000 from some generous friends. All donations above $2 are tax deductible in Australia. Your contribution, of any amount, will put me closer to my target of $15,000.

The other way you can help to boost my total is to sponsor a child living in poverty. By using that link your sponsorship will count towards my fundraising goal while releasing a child from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Sponsorship gives kids safe places to play, the chance to see a doctor when they’re sick, education, and the opportunity to discover Jesus’ incredible love for them.

Sponsor a child. Give them a brighter future so they, and eventually their own children, can live free from poverty.

Whichever way you choose to support me and however much you choose to give, your contribution will not only help push me closer to reaching my target, you’ll also change the life of a child or children living with the devastating effects of extreme poverty.

Will you help me give more children a chance to live, dream and hope? Sponsor a child today or donate through my fundraising page.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading A Very Long Way to Ride a Bike? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks. 🙂

Taking the Long Way to Newcastle

I was recently in Newcastle for several days of meetings at Compassion Australia’s national office. It took the best part of a day to fly from Perth to Sydney and then travel by car from Sydney to Newcastle.

It can be a tiring trip but that’s nothing compared to the four and a half week trip that I’ll be taking just 20 days from today. Instead of flying I’ll be making my way across the country by bicycle.

Ride for Compassion Coast to Coast will start in Perth, Western Australia on Saturday the 15th of September. We will arrive at Compassion’s head office in Newcastle, New South Wales on Tuesday the 16th of October. There’ll be 28 riding days and 4 rest days. The average riding distance for those riding days will be just over 150 kilometres. Our longest days will be just under 200 kilometres. There’ll be around 24 cyclists and a support team of 10.

If you’d like to support my ride you can do so in two ways.

I am personally seeking to raise $15,000. I really need your help to make that a reality.

You can make a direct donation to my fundraising page. Your donation will touch the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our world through Compassion’s Highly Vulnerable Children’s Fund.

Every child in poverty is vulnerable, but some children are at risk of the most deplorable situations in the world.

Children whose parents who have left, died, or are unable to provide for them, children exposed to exploitation and children with special needs are highly vulnerable. They often find themselves on the edge of extremely dangerous situations like child labour, gang violence, trafficking, and life on the street.

So far, I received donations from $10 to $1,000 from some generous friends. All donations above $2 are tax deductible in Australia. Your contribution, of any amount, will put me closer to my target of $15,000.

The other way you can help to boost my total is to sponsor a child living in poverty. By using that link your sponsorship will count towards my fundraising goal while releasing a child from poverty in Jesus’ name.

Sponsorship gives kids safe places to play, the chance to see a doctor when they’re sick, education, and the opportunity to discover Jesus’ incredible love for them.

Sponsor a child. Give them a brighter future so they, and eventually their own children, can live free from poverty.

Whichever way you choose to support me and however much you choose to give, your contribution will not only help push me closer to reaching my target, you’ll also change the life of a child or children living with the devastating effects of extreme poverty.

Will you help me give more children a chance to live, dream and hope? Sponsor a child today or donate through my fundraising page.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading Taking the Long Way to Newcastle? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks. 🙂

What a Funny Old Fellow

What a funny old fellow is Humphrey
He gets in all manner of strife
He leads a very exciting life
And honey’s his favourite fare

It was hard for mum to get anything done when I was a small boy. Even when she would entrust my care to “the babysitter”, a large, old black and white television, I would be constantly calling her back into the lounge room to see what Humphrey B. Bear was doing, which window we were looking through on Play School or to share the wisdom of Romper Room’s ‘Do Bee’.

I’ve always had a burning desire to share the things I find interesting or exciting with others. I guess that goes part way to explaining my many years of work in radio and the fact that I’ve been writing this blog for so many years.

These days my attention has shifted to more interesting and important things than a bear in a waistcoat (though I’m still concerned that he never wore any pants).

Tomorrow morning, while most people will still be sound asleep, I’ll be at the airport, heading off to Thailand with a group of people, so that I can share something of great significance, the work of Compassion.

Since I first saw Compassion’s work in Haiti in 2008, I’ve had a burning desire to let other people know how this holistic child development agency works. I find it amazing that since the end of 2013 I’ve been able to make that passion my work.

Over the coming week, we’ll hear stories of lives transformed, of hurts that have been healed and we’ll struggle with the messiness of the effects of poverty. We’ll meet children created in the image of God who, through no fault of their own, are living in unacceptable circumstances. We’ll also experience the difference that can be made when a local church steps in and says, “This stops here”.

I love the difference that can be made when a local church, with the care and encouragement of a sponsor, brings a child a hope more powerful than poverty. I love the fact that I get to see that life-giving reality up close again this week. Even more than that, I love that I get to share that with others so that they can capture some of the passion I have for the children Compassion serves.

No doubt I’ll share some of the stories of the week with you here on this blog.

And please remember, that you can be part of this life transformation. As I’ve mentioned many times before, on the 15th of September this year I’ll start cycling across Australia so that even more children receive the care they need and that we can ensure they are known, loved and protected.

Will you support me on this massive venture? It’s unacceptable that millions of children are living in extreme poverty so I’m putting my body on the line to do whatever I can to make a difference for as many of those children as I can.

Will you help me give more children a chance to live, dream and hope? Sponsor a child today or donate through my fundraising page.

Do you think some of your friends would enjoy reading What a Funny Old Fellow? Please use the buttons below to share the post. Thanks. 🙂