Sunday, February 28, 2010

Canada vs USA

I have never been so into men's hockey in my entire life!

I came home from church placement today to see my house decked with Canadian flags, Steven
and Loralie and three other Canadians wearing Canadian attire, and even some red and white desserts. All ready to watch Canada beat USA.........

I had to represent.

So I watched the intense game projected on the wall with about eighteen others filling my lounge.

Intense is an understatement.

At one point the BBC internet we were watching the game from kept freezing up so we could only hear what was happening through the annoying commentators. So, when USA scored in the last 34 seconds of the game I had to ask someone if that really happened and when they said yes, I jumped and screeched and clapped.

I don't even like hockey.

Don't ask what came over me. The feeling didn't last long though....

As most of you probably know, USA lost.

It was good times though :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wisdom from Josie...

"Just take life as it comes. And enjoy it!"

Josie. Sweet sweet Josie.
Josie is one of the old ladies at Tumbling Bay that we visit on Thursdays. As we chatted today, the above quote was what she told me to do with my life. Simple, yet profound wisdom.
Don't worry about tomorrow.
Enjoy today.
My new life motto.
Josie is 95. Born in 1915. Not many people get to say that. I love listening to her, watching her laugh, even get a little frustrated because she can't seem to remember things as well as she used to.
Tumbling Bay is becoming a real joy for me, something I look forward to.
We only have a few precious Thursdays left.
BUT! I'm not worrying about tomorrow.
I'm enjoying today.

My housemates aren't enjoying today so much. Steven, Loralie, Dalia, AND Lydia have all been sick this past week. Off and on. With vomiting and all that jazz.
Not good.
Not good at all.
Lou and I have been blessed enough to have not caught anything yet, and we're hoping and praying it stays that way!

Lent has been going alright. I don't think I've explained what I'm giving up/taking up for lent yet, so i suppose I will do that now.
There are a few things I'm doing or not doing everyday. 1) Going through a devotional book called "A Guide to Prayer for all God's People".
2) Praying creatively. Type a prayer. Write a prayer. Pray scriptures. Pray while walking. Pray not sitting down. Pray in tongues. Pray. Pray. Pray.
3) Only allow myself 10-15, which really means 15, minutes of Facebook a day.
These are all habits I want to instill in myself during this time of Lent.
I'm doing a few other things, but they aren't everyday, but only once a week. Things like fasting or reading a book.
Anyway, its been good. We do communion during every chapel and last week we did it a little differently. Usually everyone will just take a small pinch of bread and a little sip of wine and be done, but last week, in the spirit of starting lent, Jem said he didn't want to see any of the bread left over. So some of us had to go back for more bread. Basically Jem was trying to portray that we shouldn't be content with little bit of Jesus, but when things get hard, when we're trying to be spiritually disciplined, when life isn't how we thought it should be, we should keep going back to Jesus. Asking for more. Taking more. Not being content. That really stuck with me and has been really good for me during this week when I feel like I haven't done very well with being disciplined about the lent stuff. But I'm not going to give up. I'm going to keep going back for more.

I haven't really talked about the ELC either have I? Wow! Sorry again for how lame and detail-less my blogs have been lately!

The ELC was really good. The best part of it all though was seeing familiar faces! I saw and chatted with Pat and Kristen Forbes, Don, Cheri, and Stephanie White, Ben Pawlitschek, Dave and Kris Richards, Buck and Jenny Hudson, Hakan and Gunilla, and quite a few of the Danes from the house in Denmark. It was so good to catch up with people.
Jenny and I talked about some dates for me to come visit Denmark. It should work out sometime in early April if I can find some cheap tickets! I met Abby Hobbs, who is married to Az, and they lead a small Salt and Light church in Spain. Abby, myself, and Simon, principal of the college, met together and talked about details for the move in May. Oh yeah.. I guess i should mention to anyone who doesn't know, that I'll be moving to Spain in May after I get back from North Africa. I'll be in Spain, helping Az and Abby for about 5 to 6 weeks. We talked about me doing things like teaching kids english, working with Abby to do a kid's "Holiday week" when they get out of school in June, talking at "church", things like that.
As I heard Abby talk about what kind of church they have and how they meet in houses and not in a building and other things she was explaining, I grew more and more excited. I've been really asking myself lately "what is the church?", and I've been really excited to be given different opportunities like Denmark, North Africa, and Spain to catch different glimpses of church and see different ways its working and outreaching into the community.
I bought a book titled "The Passionate Church" and I'm stoked to read it, but its put aside until I can really focus on it and no other books. I'm reading a few others at the moment. One is titled "Irresistable Revolution: living as an ordinary radical". That book makes me want to do some radical things! Hence the title. It makes me want to do things like sell everything and live on the streets with the poor, walking in their shoes, hearing their stories, letting them show me Jesus. But, realistically, it just makes me want to be a REAL christian. To not be confined in the four walls of a church but to go where Jesus would've have gone and to talk to the types of people Jesus would have engaged with.

PS ( I just took a 2+ hour break from whatever I wrote before. I just skyped with Stephanie for the first time since I've been here. Man is it good to hear her voice.)
Speaking of Stephanie, Pat and I had a chance to have some tea together during the weekend. It was lovely. He had a picture about me being dough used for bread or a pie crust. He said he knows that I'm being stretched a lot and that sometimes it feels like I might break any moment, but he told me to be encouraged, because when that dough is rolled out flat, it can be used to cover a lot. He told me also that he was "proud of me" and that even if he doesn't talk to me much, him and Theresa are thinking of me and praying for me. All in all, it was a wonderful, fatherly encouragement and just what I needed at the moment.

I am being stretched. Kneaded. Rolled flat.
I'm not sure how to go into it in detail, but God is just working on things in almost every area of my life.

I can share one thing specifically though.
I've noticed I'm quick to say "No" to God using me prophetically. Not 'no' as in I have a word or a picture and I'm just not going to say anything, but 'no' as in God just doesn't use me like that because I don't see pictures or get words. Well, once I realized how ridiculous that was and how I don't get to choose how God uses me, but my job is to remain open and moldable, He started using me in ways I never thought He would.
Don't get me wrong. I'm no Scott Squires or Buck Hudson or Michael Newman. I'm just me.
Me being open to God.
God using that openness.
God speaking through that openness.
The day Ellen arrived, a couple students and myself had an Emmaus meeting. We did some praying for each other. Then Steven proposed that we should pray for Ellen and get words or pictures for her. Immediately I ruled myself out of that second group. I can pray. I can't get words. Well, the second I made up my mind, a picture came into my head. I instantly smiled and told God I thought He was a funny guy. I did wrestle in my head for a few minutes about whether or not to share it, but then I decided that its Ellen and she would be a good guinea pig for me. So I shared it. There were no tears and it wasn't some massive, problem-solving, revelation, but it was from God and I think it encouraged her. There have been a few times since then where God's popped stuff into my head. And can I just say, I love it. It doesn't come followed by thunder and lightening. Or a loud orchestra playing in the back ground, but instead, its just sort of plopped into my head. Ha. I love how it works.

Remain open to God and He will use you.

Tomorrow is a day off for me! Some students have to go in, but not me! We are doing these seminar type things and tomorrow's is on "Capitalism". We had to choose two seminars to attend out of the four. I chose the "Poor and Marginalized" and "Politics". The last choice was "Environment". We have to write an essay for one group, but read for four hours on the topic of the second one your attending. Fortunately I'm writing on the poor and marginalized, a subject I'm quite interested in, but unfortunately, that means I have to read for four hours on the subject of Christians and Politics, a subject I could care less about.
See? Stretching...........

If you're wondering why I haven't put up any pictures of my recent voyages lately, its because MY CAMERA IS BROKEN!!
My camera has been a little demonic since I came here, but now its broken broken.
But! I did have it since 8th grade, so it had a nice run.
My birthday is in April. (*Wink Wink*)

I think I'm running out of exciting, new things to say.

I'm going to go do some reading.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This is for Michelle

Stop all the withdrawals! :P ha ha... I wish I had something awesome-ing-ly exciting to tell you..
but alas..
there isn't anything.

On a sad note though, Ellen left this morning. We both woke up at 5:30, got ready in half an hour, and rushed to the bus stop to catch the bus at 6:26 precisely. We caught the 4C and we headed into town to walk to Gloucester Green Square to buy Ellen's bus ticket from Oxford to Heathrow.
She left at 7 A.M. I stayed around for a couple minutes as she sat on the bus, then waved one final time and walked around the corner.

Classes don't start until 9 A.M. and town is only a 15-minute walk from the KBCTC center, so there was no way I was going to go all the way back home to then have to walk 45 minutes back for classes. So I stayed in town. I walked around an open market for a few minutes, enjoyed watching the town wake up for the morning, and enjoyed a nice espresso frap to wake myself up for the morning. Sat around Starbucks for awhile, then did a little window shopping.

Started my walk to college at about half eight....

Thats really it so far. My life is pretty simple, yet so complicated. God is really working some things inside of me. Some foundational things..
All the tough, tough, tough, yet, good, good, good, things.
I feel like I'm just rambling now.
I love you Michelle and I wanted to write a blog for you letting you know what i was up to, no matter how mundane it was. :D

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I don't think I expected the reaction I had to come out of me. The moment I saw Ellen, a shrill, loud, excited scream proceeded from my mouth. Followed shortly after, was me running towards her, with iced white mocha in hand, and flinging myself around her.
It was Ellen!
It was familiar!
It was home...

Having Ellen here is fantastic! Life has been hectic lately, as you could probably presume by my lack of bloggage. But, there's nothing like a little Ellen to get you recharged and ready to go again.

Starting tomorrow is ELC, European Leaders Conference. I'm very excited about all that God is going to do. Not so excited that my weekend is probably going to be busier than this entire week, but I can easily get over that. :)

Oh! And Lent starts today. Yes, I, along with the rest of the college, am participating in Lent. 40 days baby! God is going to really start working some stuff in me, more than He already has.

Apologies for the short and sweet blog, but I'm gonna go catch some shut eye.


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hug me please....

I know my last few blog posts have been impersonal, just giving little snip-its into what I've been doing.
This one is going to be a bit different.
I'm not going to write much. The video below speaks clearly about how I've been feeling towards God and what He has been doing in me lately.

Apologies if you don't enjoy or understand that kind of poetry reading, but I thoroughly enjoy it and it really speaks to me.

Today I spent all day in college. Literally, all day. I arrived at quarter to nine and arrived back home at a quarter to ten.
Lectures are centered around Psalms this week and today focused on the practical aspect of poetry and imagery and parallelism and symbolism. (and there were a lot of "ands" in that last sentence).

MEETINGS! MEETINGS! MEETINGS! This is the theme of my life at the moment.

After lectures, I had a lunch meeting with my church placement group talking about what we wanted to do for Sunday. WE have a span of about fifteen minutes before worship where we will be getting the people together and focused on God. Sounds pretty easy to me, but we had a discussion about that.

Then another meeting! Half one was our applied practice part of the week. This time we read the whole of the Gospel Mark out loud in preparation for Lent.

We finished around three and I was running late for another meeting. This one was more to do with how I was doing academically and if I needed any help with assignments and what not. Of course that one ran late and I was running late for my next consecutive meeting...

This one was DRAMA REHEARSAL. On Friday, the whole year group has to present a play of the entire Old Testament. I am playing the part of Bathsheba, but with a different twist. We are doing it as a monologue from Bathsheba's perspective and then Bathsheba and David are going to sing a duet, which is actually David's Psalm of Repentance. Should be pretty good, but we just have a lot to do before Friday!

Before my NEXT meeting at half seven, my communal assignment group worked on props for the play. We made some pizzas in the KBC kitchen, snacked on some flapjacks, and made some cardboard swords. We chatted about things God was doing in us, listened to some good music, and laughed together. Fun times.

Seven thirty came unfortunately. That sounds absolutely horrid of me to say, but if i were to speak honestly, at this moment, I was shot. This was another lecture, but one about "Art and Imagery". We had to be creative at one point and that was really difficult for me. I'm not the "artsy, creative" type person. I prefer to stick with words and not so much images.. We did get cake and tea after wards though!

Grace! Grace for tomorrow. Grace for this week. Grace for myself. Grace for others.
This is my prayer.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Where Art Thou?

This was read in West Church today and I thought it was interesting!


Obituary of Common Sense!

Today, we mourn the passing of an old friend by the name of Common Sense.

Common Sense lived a long life, but died from heart failure at the brink of the Millennium. No one really knows how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He selflessly devoted his life to service in schools; hospitals, homes, factories and offices, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness.

For decades, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense. He was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as to know when to come in from rain, the early bird gets the worm and life isn't always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (the adults are in charge, not the kids), and it's okay to come in second.

A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including feminism, body piercing, whole language and new math.

But his health declined when he became infected with the "if-it-only-helps-one-person-it's-worth-it" virus. In recent decades, his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal legislation.

He watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers and enlightened auditors. His health rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero tolerance policies; when reports were heard of six year old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; when a teen was suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch; when a teacher was fired for reprimanding an unruly student. It declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but couldn't inform the parent when a female student is pregnant or wants an abortion.

Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional sports.

As the end neared, Common Sense drifted in and out of logic but was kept informed of developments, regarding questionable regulations for asbestos, low-flow toilets, smart guns, the nurturing of Prohibition Laws and mandatory air bags.

Finally, when told that the homeowners association restricted exterior furniture only to that which enhanced property values, he breathed his last.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son Reason. His three stepbrothers survive him: Rights, Tolerance and Whiner.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

Author Unknown

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Fun Times:

Here are a few pictures I took and edited this week:

This is on the way to the Sycamore house. I've been there about three times and I never noticed this door! The hedge surrounding it is probably ten feet high and its really long, but I was shocked when I noticed it because I had passed by it every other time. I thought it was cool anyway though...

This guys was balancing on a rope and playing the violen. At one point he was walkign up and down the rope. Uber impressive!

Flowers and a wedding dress! Bex brought me her wedding dress today to use for an assignment we're doing and she brought me flowers too! It was a wonderful surpise that makes me smile. :)

Posted by Picasa

My Letter to God

This morning for devotions, we were told to write God a letter and to write to Him like we would anyone else. Here is my letter:

Hey God,

Its's me again. i just wanted to say thanks for getting me through yesterday. I couldn't have made it through without knowing you were walking beside me.
I love you. I don't say it often enough or loud enough, but I do. I want to feel closer to you everyday. Closer and closer.
Would you please heal Lucy? And help her to feel you very near to her in this time.
What do you think about me getting a tattoo?

Then, on the other side of the paper, we were to write what we think would be God's response. Here is God's response:

Hey you,

you're welcome. I'm always near you wanting to help you when you're struggling. I do it because i love you.
I know you love me, but you do need to remind yourself more often. I want to feel closer and closer to you, but that requires you to be vulnerable and trusting of me. How badly do you want it? Badly enough to let down all your defenses and let me in?
I have Lucy in my hands and I'm walking with her in the midst of this struggle. Keep praying for her, but know i have it under control.
I think you'd look good with a tattoo.

That last part I might have been a little biased about. ;) Don't tattoos yet.

This was a really great way to start off the morning and it spoke to me alot. Its a good way to write down some things you might be struggling with, to get them from your head onto paper, and for God to speak clearly to you through your own writing.

When I read "God's response" that I had written, I realized I hadn't been the one really writing. Those were God's words to me and for those situations.

Try it!