What is an Identity ?

Posted December 10, 2006 by johnnyg
Categories: Uncategorized

 The other day I was thinking about my identity and who I am. I was thinking is an identity something we learn or is it something we just have? 

 If its something we learn or develop then our identity can change but if  its something innate then it is constant it does not change with who we are and what we do. If its constant and not about who we are or what we have can we really lose our identity?  These are questions which i have been praying into and intend to answer.

I have learnt   a lot about what I like and what I dislike, what things I enjoy doing  and what I enjoy doing.  I have tried all sorts of different activities from swing dancing, to  soccer, to photography, to fishing.  I have also spent time building relationships from work, from church, from different activities. I have learnt to identify things in people I really like and somethings that I see in people that I don’t think is so crash hot.

So who am I?

Well I was born in Sydney, into a christian family. I moved to a country city could Albury and lived there for 15 years or so. attending a local school there I then studied biotechnology at uni in Wollongong and later I moved to Canberra to start work in research. I now currently am working in a government department that deals with the collection of statistics. I am attending a church in Canberra called grace christian fellowship.

So is this my identity or part of it or is my identity something more ?

let me tell you something else about me. I love being amongst nature and taking photos. I also love to live an active lifestyle. I like to go to the gym and go swimming and play soccer. I am thinking of getting back into dancing one of these days and I have even thought about learning the guitar and a another language (German ?)

Is this my identity?

I love spending time with others, in fact more than anything else spending quality time with others means the most to me. If a friend really wants to show they care then spending time, really listening to me and acknowledging how I feel and respecting me as person is the greatest way they can show that.

 Is that my identity?

I am a passionate christian. I love to pray and spend time reading my bible. I love spending time with other Christian and sharing about Christ and what he has been doing in my life. I attend a group called the North Canberra Full Gospel Business Mens Fellowship Internation (long name hey). Its a group of men that meet to pray for Canberra and for one another- they are a really encouraging bunch.

 I also love christian worship songs and particularly enjoy listening to artists like Nicole Nordam or Michel W Smith or bands like Delirous.

 Is this who I am, is this what makes me  me ? if I stopped listening to bands, attending mens group would I lose my identity.

 I enjoy reading a lot and I am constantly learning new things through different books. At present I am reading the five love languages (its a really good book – I recommend it). I also enjoy attending different church based courses like valiant man or cleaning streams, I have learnt a lot through these courses and God has used them to help me grow.

So is this my identity? if I stopped reading and learning would I seize to exist to have an identity (I dont thinks so)

So What is my identity and Can I lose it ????

My identity is the character and inner qualities and destiny which god has given me. HE knew me even before I was born. psalm139: 13 says you did form my inner parts you did knit me together  in my mothers womb. He planned out my life and had a future mapped out for me. psalm 139:16  says your eyes saw my unformed substance, and in your book all the days of my life were written before they ever took shape, when as yet there were none of them. Yes I could make choices and I had a free while but I have certain  God given traits and desires which have  in part lead me to make the choices I have made. My identity is something I was predestined it was something that cant be taken away  its wh0 I am not what I do or say or how I act.

So what were all those things I described earlier my history, my likes and interests? How do they fit in?

These are just an outward expression of who I am they aren’t my identity if I stopped doing them I don’t seize to exist. If god told me to go to some far off country and -preach I would not lose my personality or my identity in fact I might discover apart of my identity that I never know I had .

So  what about people who feel they don’t know who they are they and feel lost they feel like they dont have an identity and don’t fit in? Have they lost there identity? Can your identity be taken away from you?

Many of us go through a phase of our life where we wonder who we are.  In fact some of us never really find out. The truth is each of us has an identity but often we  just haven’t come to a point where our eyes have been opened as to who we can be what our potential is and what our god given purpose is. Its hard though to find your God given purpose unless you first acknowledge there is a god out there and connect with him. He has a purpose for each of us, in him is fullness and purpose and meaning found. He created every part of you body, soul (emotions, will) and spirit (the bit that connects with god).

unless we find our god given identity we tend to try and find our identity and purpose in other things, money, possessions, achievements, friends, family,  activities. Some of those things can be good and can be an expression of who we are but they aren’t who we are they don’t lead to fulfilment in themselves. We weren’t created to be human doings but human beings. We were created to be the people  God made us to be. We are created for relationship, a relationship with a creator.  We have feelings we have thoughts we have interests but these don’t define us. True fulfillment comes from knowing who you are and your purpose and what (or rather who your hope is -Jesus) and responding out of that. Yes we have feelings and we are meant to express them, we have physical needs ie food and drink, were are meant to take care of our bodies but we don’t live for food or drink, or our emotions otherwise we can become impulse driven going from one craving to another.

 God created us to have a perfect relationship with Him to have fulfillment and love in our lives but with sin (disobedience to god, turning from gods will)  the relationship was broken and death, sickness and bad things entered the world.  The good news is that there is  hope. We can be secure and and live a fulfilled life, where we feel loved and have a sense of a destiny  if we believe in Gods  son Jesus whom he sent that we might have eternal life and that our relationship may be restored with the father.  Our relationship is more than just being saved he designed us to serve Him and to use god given traits to build other up and to be an encouragement to those around us.

Many of us though have lost our focus, we need to look up and refocus on Him, remember what He has done. We get tricked i think into putting our faith (leaning on) and building our life around other thing material things which can perish or achievements which can be surpassed.  When these things are taken away we are in upheaval we forget our identity is not in the things that pass away we were created to be eternal beings. Even our old bodies will pass away and we will be given a new body.

God wants us to know who we are in Him and realise our full potential  but it is up to us seek God to ask him to reveal the person he created us to be and ask him to help us to live it because ultimately we were created to have a relationship with him, to serve him.

This Journey we are on

Posted November 15, 2006 by johnnyg
Categories: Uncategorized

This Journey we are on is something quite hard to comprehend. I though when I was young that it was all about fighting the obstacles and then you come through them and Jesus gives you something called faith and you start walking in healing and hearing from god and then you share that with others. Then as I grew I became “wiser”… sought of and realised that life isnt full of sugar and spice and that there is hardship and at times you feel like giving up you feel hopeless and at times I felt like giving up. Then I had some victory as I have shared previously and I thought this is it god is just around the corner. Then I go through trouble and think where did god go. Then I learn that I wake up suddenly one day and realise bit by bit god has been working in me. I wish sometimes things were more clear to me and hope some day they will be but one thing I know is this jesus guy real and has changed my life and he does answer prayers. 

Its been an interesting week or two I tell you what.  My computer has been playing up the last couple of weeks for a start so I havent been on line much. Much of this the last couple of the weeks I have been fighting off a cold, the last six month have been shocking health wise. Then just yesterday i had a minor car incident (minor in the sense that I can drive my car and I am alright) and hence have been sorting out insurance etc.  I have also been going ups down emotionally. I am happy to say though despite being unwell and the car incident I have handled it much better than i would of in the past god has really done a work in me helping me. I feel more secure and dont tend to lose my sense of hope. I am also almost over my cold and I have pretty much got the car sorted out although there is the inconvience of waiting for repair. In the past i would of been way stressed out by now. I have also been finding that some of the old patterns of behaviour are starting to be broken (ways in which i used to use to manage stress and anxiety).

Something which I am particularly excited about is that a a couple of weeks ago I was feeling alone and finding it hard to connect with other people my age. So I got praying about this and over the last couple of weeks there has been a turn around. I went fishing just this last weekend with a guy from church that I have only really started to get to know the last few weeks and out of the blue I got invited to a party this saturday. I also got invited to bowling last week but couldnt make it cause I was struggle with my cold. On top of that I have starting meeting up with some other friends at work and having a great sharing time and another friend is coming down to visit next week. so praise god for these friendships that are opening up plus I really felt to go to the uni church and visit. some of these options were there before but some how i didnt see them. I also realise and value the other friendships I have with those who are older and I have realise that there are people I can call when I am feeling down. I am still going to the full gospel business mens fellowship internation- which has been a real blessing and many of the men have spoken truth into my life and been encouraging. I was particularly encouraged when one of the men reminded me I dont have to have everything sorted out and that it isnt in my strength that I work things out its by coming god and allow him to work in me, humbling myself before him and acknowledging I need his help. I feel sometimes like a bit a failure in that I am supposed to have this hope and have everything right and be sharing christ with other but then I now realise the hey its not that I am ment to have it all soughted out its that I am real and I am working through stuff and I have a real god that helps me and can help others. Thats so exciting. Paul says that our best efforts are filthy rags we need to ask jesus to help us and trust jesus to help us. we need to be open and honest. we need to die to our own efforts to some how attain rightenouse it is by faith we are made righteous.

I am really starting to feel that I am not so alone after all.

I was also thinking the other day how i used to get these attacks by the enemy that one I would die and jesus wouldnt be there that i was living a lie. But now even when I have doubts there is something in me that gives me hope, an inner knowing that jesus is real and that I dont have to fear. Its so awesome go god.

I am also started to see that god is using me to touch those around me. I have been praying for a friend who has been looking for work and having a hard time and just today she told me some doors have been opening up. Also other friends have mentioned that they have been touch when I have listened to god and prayed for them. Thank you Jesus for using me and giving me discernment and prophetic words. To be honest I was begining to give up and think maybe some of this stuff only works for the benny hinns of the world. It will be exciting to see what god has in store. I my prayer is that he will fill my life and give me the opportunity to touch and speak into others lives and demonstrate gods love to them. Its so hard this world and people are crying out for love and yet at times love cant be found even in the church. I dont claim to be a perfect demonstration of gods love- far from it but I know i this god that we serve loves us very dearly and I intend to find out just how much and share it the best I can (might ask god how to do that- probably a good idea).

 Praise be to God

Growth

Posted October 29, 2006 by johnnyg
Categories: Ups and Downs of life

It hasnt been easy the last few weeks because I have been going through emotion growth and learning to adapt to change. Early in the week my emotions were all over the place i was feeling anxious. I have been anxious about moving sections it seems trivial now because I am staying with the same department (Aust Bureau of stats) but i am just changing teams. But I guess part of me liked security of where I was and changing sections means moving into a foreign area and working with a totally different group of people. Adding to the stress I have been looking to buy a house and I guess I have allowed myself to be affected by some of these agents encouraging me to buy now or you will miss out. The good things is bit by bit I am getting things into perspective and I am taking my time with the house hunting. I am also learning not to pile things on my plate and take each day as it comes. I am learning to go with the flow more and just enjoy life and not to set agendas as I have tending to do in the past. Yesterday I had a really enjoyable day just dong my usual shopping and then went to the movies and went to time zone and chated with a friend online. Whats helped to is just keeping things simple not trying to work everything out, handing things to god and talking to him about how I feel. I have also been spending more time with friends and praying together and I have found my desire to spend time reading the bible has increased. I have had some really blessed times just listening to worship music and reading my bible. I am greatful that god has blessed me with good friends to support me. Thanks be to god that he is always with me even when I am doing it tough (he will never leave me nor forsake me).

Step by step I am growing

Posted September 8, 2006 by johnnyg
Categories: ~My Journey~

Sometimes I seem to get pretty shaken up by the enemy, but step by step I am beginning to see who has the real power and authority. Two weeks ago I was struggling with rejection (as I mentioned in my last blogg). Then through a simple prayer the lies of the enemy telling me I was rejected were broken off my life. Just recently I had another attack over a few nights, I would wake up feeling anxious. But I realised the other day the enemy was just having a go at me and I took authority and in Jesus name told him where to go. Last night I slept better but I still had to fight, the enemy tested me out to see whether I would just go with it or hold my ground.

In the past I would not recognise his attacks and I was plagues by condemnation. But I now know that christ in one simple act set me free of all condemnation. He paid for my sins in full. I was short of the mark as we all are “for all have fallen short of the glory of god”. But Jesus paid for all sin past, present and future. No longer am I under law but I am made righteous through faith in Jesus christ and what he did for me on the cross.

The truth is that although i read about what Jesus did for me I did not really get it until god revealed to me through his holy spirit. He gave me a free gift of forgiveness, which the world cant take away. God loves his children so much, he wants to be reconciled with them. “For god so loved the world that whoever believeth in him would not parish and die but have eternal life in heaven.”

Jesus not only paid for our sins but he defeated the enemy, he paraded the enemy around and made a display of him. Jesus is now above every power and principality. He defeated death once and for all by his strip there is healing. In christ lies the victory. Step by step I am seeing this and taking hold of the truth. I pray that one day we will see the church walking in the fullness of what Jesus promised, walking in power that he has given us. The same power that rised Jesus from the dead is in me if I have received the Holy spirit.

Bit by bit I am recognising that we have authority in christ Jesus, that we dont have to be pushed round by the enemy. That Jesus has a plan for my life, that he want me to be filled with life.Not the kind of material life the world offers. It isnt about having more or about prestige. It is about know that you are precious in gods eyes, that you matter, that god had a plan for your life even before you were born and that watches over you. Its about the fact you have a future in him. Its also about see that he uses ever step of your life to grow you if you love him and allow him to. The fact that he wants to have a relationship with you and he wants you to share in fellowship with others. Its the fact that he cares about even you little needs and desires. The fact we are part of something bigger than our selves. It about all the promises which he has given to his children and the heritance that is ours. The fact that he freely gives to us and loves us unconditionally. He will not give a man a snake when he asks for bread. The father offers us living water, that gives us strength to continue on. He offers obey and joy that is beyond understanding, that is beyond any circumstances. It amazes me that paul was locked away, shipwrecked, beaten and went through all sorts of tragedies yet you was strong in god, he never gave up and infact he rejoice in adversity because he saw there was a much bigger price awaiting him.

Paul saw many miracles and touched many lives. But the truth was not just for paul its for all of us, we can do things greater than what jesus did if we believe it (Jesus said so). Praise be to god for what he has done and the promises he has given us. I pray that I am others would come to receive this fullness, to truelly walk in abundant life and be as Jesus to the world, demonstrating love and living the abundant life. That we would stand boldly declaring gods truth and bringing other into gods living water which he freely pours out.

The ups and downs of life-

Posted September 1, 2006 by johnnyg
Categories: Ups and Downs of life

The last 7 months has been a bumpy ride. I began the year with a new job, an exciting new start. I was little nervous to tell the truth, I had never worked in the public service before and I didn’t know what the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) would hold. I knew though that God was with me. I had been working in customer service the year before and I had been praying for a new job for some time. After applying for a number of jobs as laboratory technician a friends suggested I look at the public service. So I decided to give it a go. Apparently over 400 people applied for graduate positions. A month or two after I had applied a received a call that I had an interview and two days after the interview I received a letter saying I was accepted.

A month later I started work not knowing where this new job would take me. Pretty soon I was in the thick of things, doing all sort of training programs which I enjoyed. I also really liked working in my team. I was part of a team that was developing new occupational standards.

Anyhow about three months into it I decided that I wanted to move from where I was living. I had been toying with idea early in the year but It did not work out so I left it. Things started to get pretty hard where I was living though, I was not getting on with my flatmate. I finally decided to go for it. I wanted to set up a new place but before I did I was hoping to find some other people who interested in setting a new place up. In particular I wanted to rent with other christians as in the last place I was at it was hard being a christian with two other people who weren’t christian, and weren’t particularly accepting of christians views. I felt I could not express my faith and be myself if I was with other christians.

Anyway I put an ad out for christian flatmates and pretty soon after one guy contacted me. Not long after that we started looking around. The trouble was unfortunately this guy was new to canberra and there were all sort of issue with id which real estate need and also the guy needed time to make sure his job was secure. In between all this I had mentioned to my flatmate that I was looking cause I wanted to do the right thing by her but she responded by getting someone in the next week to look at the place and pretty much gave me a month to move out.

It was pretty stressful at the time. I like to have things planned out and my boss noticed i was pretty stressed out. It was a growing experience for me, I had to learn to trust god. After a couple of stressful weeks being upset with my flatmate and then having to sort accomodation and then having to find a third person because the place i was trying to rent was too expensive for only two to take on eventally things fell into place. Finally I had a place and two christian guys who were pretty descent and I could move in. Unfortunately things were still rocky for a couple weeks after that as there were maintainance issues with house and I had to sort bond out with my exflatmate. At the time I was praying and handing things to god. Eventually though things worked out. The house was fixed up and I got my bond and I was finding that I really enjoyed living with these two guys steve and Mick. Also I was blessed to get some cheap second hand furniture (which was still in pretty good nick).

Things were just starting to look on the up and up and then I came down with the flu. This year health wise has been quite tough I have been unfortunate enough to catch the flu or virus about three time now. The hardest thing I found was the first time I caught the flu it went on and on and I felt so lonely and frustrated. Even when I got over the flu I felt that loneliness and anxiety and have been struggling with my emotions. Its really hard to explain.

The positive side is through it all I have had supportive friends who have encouraged me and prayed with me and a couple really caring pastors who have been there for me. I also had things to look forward to like a couple of camps I went on with the other ABS graduates down the south coast of NSW. It was great to get away and a get chance to take photos. I hadn’t gone camping since high school but I found it really enjoyable, much better than the school camps. Recently I have also gone on a ski trip at thredbo.

South Coast Trip- Mimosa Rocks

In the last month or two I started stepping out more and invited people over and meeting people for lunch. I have also got involved in the ABS social club. Its been great to meet people. I will also getting involved in the public service soccer comp.More recently I have been blessed with one of my flat mates relatives leaving there gym equipment here as they were moving so we have our own portable gym. plus not long ago I got a boxing back as I have been keen for ages to get into boxing.

Although I have been involved in some exciting things up until about a week and a half I ago some felt wrong. I felt this massive rejection. I could not understand it. Growing up I didn’t find it easy, I went through bullying and low self esteem and felt lack of love. But I have gone through a tremendous amount of healing over the last three years and so I was asking myself why suddenly did I feel this rejection. I got a few people to pray for me but that didn’t seem to help much except for moral support.Then one and a half weeks ago, a guy from the mens group I go to prayed for me ,at one of our dinners. It was amazing, the first words that come out of his mouth were that I had rejection in my life. After the prayer I felt joy I felt happy. He encouraged me to read the bible more and pray and a couple days later I felt happier than I had for ages. I felt like suddenly I had a purpose in life.

Recently in my men’s group (the full gospel business men’s fellowship international) I feel like god is actually speaking to me. A number of times I have got a word of encouragement and someone else confirmed it or someone got a word and I was thinking the exact same thing. I also feel like I am making a difference at my work, touch lives around me. One of the graduates who left said she appreciated me keeping in contact and making and effort. I also feel that I can in some small way make a difference to the abs through the social club and through reaching out to graduates new and old.

I am also excited about getting involved in the letter-a-ton out side of work where I will write letter to persuade countries to free christians. A organisation called the tears of the oppressed are organising it. Apparently they have made a difference in the past through having christians freed or there sentence reduced.

So in short this year I have:Started a new job and found a new place and new flat mates. I have begun to step, organising and managing the house, meeting people, going camping and taking up some new hobbies and joining the social club. I have learnt to stand up for my self and the importance of dealing with conflict before things get out of hand like they did with my ex flat mate. I have learnt that god can heal hurts and take away pain. I feel like I now have a greater sense of purpose. I feel a greater sense of confidence. I feel I have a mission to touch lives in the abs and to get involved in organisations like the tears of the oppressed. I also feel like I have something to contribute academically through writing papers at the abs on education statistics, which is the new section I am working in.

At the same time I have struggled with change, pain and sickness but I have come through these and although there are things which I am still at this point working through i know god is there and he has the answers. I just wish sometimes things happened a little quicker.

Well I hope what I have written will be an encouragement to others who also have gone through ups and downs in life and also to those who are still struggling with down part. I pray that those that read this will come to know that there is a god out there (Jesus Christ) who cares and who wants us to live an abundant life. He does not expect us to be perfect just to humble ourselves, be honest and trust in him and he will come through, you just have to believe in him and what he has done for you.

Hello world!

Posted August 1, 2006 by johnnyg
Categories: General

My name is John and after being encouraged by a friend to start blogging I have decided to give it ago. I plan to blogg some of the amazing things I have learnt through my work with JC (Jesus Christ). The last 2 1/2 have been an exciting journey for me with lots of ups and downs. There are so many things god has shown me- things which only a few years ago I would not have believed. Yet God has touch my life and I know he can touch others so I cant help but share and hope he too will touch your life. I dont claim to be perfect, I am a working in progress. one thing I know for sure though is that there is a god up there who loves us and who is patient and who kind and has purpose for each of us if were willing to take them time to connect with him and get to know him.

Stay tuned

John G