Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks, from 70 degree New Zealand.

I'm thankful for all the people who have invested in my life. I don't have to search very hard to find those that have made huge impacts on my life, to whom I'm grateful. At this current point in my life, I own almost nothing, so my "thanks" doesn't come from material things (which aren't necessarily bad) but from relationships.

I want to highlight my mother and father+awesome sister, as well as my DCC family, Upperroom Family and most recently my host family, the Quirkes+ABC. I cherish these relationships. I think God created me to love his people, so while I'm limited in means of physical possessions, I consider myself abundantly wealthy to know the people I do and experience all the joy filled and painful moments thus far in life.

Thank you for reading this and prayerfully journeying with me. Thanksgiving is not celebrated here in NZ (as it's a very American festivity) so I spent the time at a U2 concert, which if you ask me, isn't a bad way to participate in thankful remembrance as certain songs triggered various memories for me. This Sunday afternoon I will celebrate Thanksgiving with a few American professors from Laidlaw to make up for the lack of it during the week.... now if I could only get that pineapple upsidedown cake recipe from dad, this would be nearly as fantastic an experience as if I were at home, playing in the snow.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Free and clear! Click here for new (and old) pics of NZ!

Salutations! It has been 6 days since I deleted my facebook and I couldn't be happier. The only problem I have now is what to do with all these 10? spare hours a week. Check the link above for 60+ pictures of Laidlaw/Kinetic Junior High/Piha Beach/Auckland etc.

Summer is upon me and I'm on the search for work. A promising full time job at a outdoor gear store fell short and your prayers for work would be awesome. I'm beginning the process of working to save $6200 USD for next semesters classes that start March 1st. In my 3rd semester at Laidlaw I will be studying: Hebrew, Ways of Knowing, Theology of Suffering and Hope, and Biblical Interpretation.

On Thursday I will be attending the U2 concert at Mt. Smart in Auckland and I have a hitch-hiking trip in the works to cruise towards Wellington (bottom of the North Island). Thank you for all the prayers and support, as I stated in a previous entry, I will be updating here more frequently now.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Summer Time.

As of Saturday night at 11:42 pm, I'm finished for the semester at Laidlaw Bible College with 2 more years to go in my bachelor of theology degree. Exams went well and all projects have been handed in. Thank you for the prayers and support over the previous (nearly) 11 months- this last year has been hugely transformative to my life.

I had been planning to secretly return to the states on Dec. 24th after attending my friends wedding in Guatemala, but after being voted on to student leadership at the college next year I realized that I would not have the finances to do both. My plan was to go to Guatemala by selling my bike etc and then on return take the semester off from Laidlaw if needed to pay for school. Now I must ensure that I have the $$ to attend school next semester as I'm committed to serving the student body with all that I have next year... maybe God will bless me through the lottery : )

Not to get weird on anyone here, but I have also taken a vow (of sorts) to not pursue relationships outside of friendship with the opposite sex for the year duration of my student leadership commitment. I think this will allow me to serve with integrity.

Another quick order of business is that I'm deleting my Facebook tomorrow night, my reasoning being found within these email conversations between friends of mine because of this announcement:

----------------------------------------Email 1------------------------------------------------------------------------
I have noticed in self reflection that facebook has actually shaped my world in ways that could be unhealthy. I'm ready to move on, tired of the dumb poses for photos and trivialized relationships- seriously, who has 1300 friends? I don't. Don't hear me say I'm hating on the whole thing, but for me, I'm hungry to experience life in it's fullest again, detached from a computer screen.----

----------------------------------------Email 2
I have been kicking this around for awhile. I don't think it's possible to maintain meaningful relationship with all the people I have ever met ever. I found myself checking FB much to often, wanting to get instant gratification/affirmation from friends. To be honest, I would do things (good things, not bad) because I knew the photo would end up online. I crave genuine, passionate, God given life experiences that flow organically, not simply because I seek recognition for anything. I want depth, and the ability again to live in the moment and cherish the people I'm around. In other words I want to be fully present where I am.


Thank you everyone for journeying with me. I will be far more active on here now with article posting+ pictures etc.

May God bless you in your journey, in the joy and pain.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pictures speak a thousand words.

Today my beard was shaved in a church raffle to raise funds for the Junior High students service trip to Fiji. This was the "before" photo. $325 (edit 11/15/2010) was raised and I want to thank everyone that participated in this cause... and no, despite popular belief, is the answer to the pervading question as to whether I own a volley ball named "Wilson."

Thank you to everyone who prayed for my sermon prep/delivery. It went well and I received encouraging feedback on how it impacted individual people. What a joy it is to open up and teach Gods word.

This week has been a struggle to get school work done, and now I'm  3 days out from my first of two exams. I opted to take a security job protecting a fireworks stand for Guy Fawkes Day (look it up on wikipedia, it's to bizarre/borderline sadistic to explain). The location of the stand was on the church property, being contracted out by a private fireworks company. This company hired me to guard it at $100 a night, to simply sleep outside of it. Long story short, I had an eventful night come Tuesday at 4am when 3 or so men tried to break into it... God kept me safe, but I didn't get much sleep that night or the rest of the week. I start school tomorrow $400 richer, but behind in my work. Goodnight everyone, it's 11:35pm and I'm heading to bed, where I belong.

In Christ,