Saturday, December 25, 2004

Post Thirteen - Merry Christmas

Well it's been more than a few weeks since my last update and it's been about 3 weeks since I got back to Hong Kong, only a week left *sniff* I can't believe my trip is over this week. It's been an eventful trip with lots of things happening, catching up with family and friends, panic purchasing for postponed presents and keeping on top of happenings here there and everywhere.
This year has been a year of great change for me, and this blog contains many of those changes that have occurred (so I won't go back into it). This holiday has been in keeping with this trend and many new things have challenged me and shifted my perspective somewhat.
Some awesome things have been shown to me this holiday. First one; I was often, sadly, preoccupied with bass, playing it, getting one/more, thoughts about it etc, not totally the detriment of things around me but enough that it often took priority over other things e.g. work, quiet times, God centred thoughts etc. However, this Christmas, long story short, my perspective altered ever so slightly for about a day while I was preoccupied with picking out a present (I asked just for a harmonica for Christmas, my mum told me to pick it out myself). "Perspectives" by Kutless sums up how I felt after that quite well.

"if your lens was changed for a moment, would you still be the same"

Could I be the same? The answer is no I couldn't. You can't ignore the truth. Every cell in our being knows the truth when we hear it, it's up to us whether we acknowledge it or not.
Suddenly things are so much clearer, I've been able to let go of being preoccupied as before, and just chill. It doesn't matter, it was a block between me and God, and now I feel so much more able of worshipping fully with and without the bass, because thats what he intended me for.
Something else great that has happened is that I've been given a few clues as to whats in store for me in the next few years. I've been asking God whats happening next quite a bit, and he's been speaking surprisingly yet unsurprisingly (if that makes any sense) quite directly through a couple of people. I don't want to say too much as it's only enough to speculate but its comforting (and exciting!) to know that the plan is in action and the next stage is ready, available and waiting.
Thats all folks, next update will be when I'm back in the UK!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Post Twelve - Term's Up...

I thought I should make the effort to update before I head home and let you know whats running around in this skull of mine.
It's been an interesting term, it's been long on paper and short in reality. These past 10 weeks (11 since I got to the UK) have just been a blur, from arriving early in the morning at Heathrow to the midterm point where new modules started, to packing up my 'cubby hole' where my stuff can be stored, everything has just whizzed by. I've got to meet some great people at the start of the term and got to know the well in the last few weeks. I've been thoroughly enjoying the course and the company in it. It's been generally, a great 10 weeks.
Now for the nitty gritty stuff... Leaving HK brought with it it's share of challenges, for instance the climate adjustment, the fact it's dark by around 4pm every day, there are no tall buildings and the sun is exceptionally crisp. On a more serious note, there have been things I found easier and things I found harder. Working for the Vine over the summer was a great experience, it filled my summer with godly things so I didn't have to deal with ungodly junk. However here, I've been plunged right into the middle of all sorts of junk. I'm very blessed and very happy God got me sorted with certain problems like my temper (does anyone remember it?), my attitudes (I KNOW someone remembers those!), and typical guy problems before I headed off to university, otherwise I would be in deep, deep, DEEP trouble. Because of these active challenges, frequent spiritual attacks and God's faithfulness, my relationship with God is now in a much better place than at the start of the term.
This term has allowed me to experience, unshielded from friends, family, comfort zone and my own country (Long Live Hong Kong!) what the real world is like and what it means to live as a Christian in the world. I knew when I was preparing to leave, He was going to use me for something and show me something, and I think this is part of that purpose.
During the summer some of you may remember (and all of you should be told about this because it's awesome!) the vision Derek was given and that he implemented of SCP, the Summer College Program for college/university students to minister to each other and share their experiences. Well, to cut a long story short, I heard some stories that I didn't want, in a month or a term or a years time to be my own stories, I didn't want to be the one telling them at the next SCP. A quote I heard recently sums it up well,

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

(NB: I did not hear it directly from her)
That was quite a major statement of accountability that helped me through some of the harder points of this term, if someone else has made a mistake and they share it with you, don't let it go to waste, learn from them.
There is an active bible study group here I mentioned called 10.25, that has been awesome for me, specifically for the fire it has ignited in me to know my bible better. My early new years resolution is to finish it in a year, I feel I have a better handle on the Word now, but there's still a long way to go. So many good verses!
To sum it all up, God is good... To embellish it a little more, to be challenged spiritually here by all the junk was what I needed, to be taken out of my comfort zone and stand my ground as a Christian and God has drawn near to me by me clinging to him. It has been an awesome term and I can't wait to see all you guys to tell you more and hear what you've been up to! See you all in a few days!