Cover to Cover -> NSC -> SAFE
I think the most monumentous news I have for you at the moment is that I have completed Cover to Cover, some 4 months after the projected completion date. The book is literally falling apart, and I know that lending it out to someone will, while being a worthy endeavor, prove fatal for the thing. But hey, if it helps someone else out, I’d be more than happy to give it away.
I can’t really remember how much I got from it, I think it was just good to have read the entire Bible, albeit a lot later than the 365 days you’re supposed to do it in. This was mainly due to my reservations about reading Revelations, which I felt would be long, boring, unintelligable and confusing, and caused me to stop for a good two months. However, this turned out to be completely wrong, and while I started reading it with some reluctance I found that a lot of it was really gripping. It showed the just, judging God we see a lot of in the Old Testament, and revealed a lot more of his glorious character. Even though there was a lot of swords protruding from mouths, plagues, 7 such-and-suches and whatnot, a lot of it was still very relevant, or at least teachable.
One verse I wrote in my journal was this:
‘Fear God,’ he shouted. “Give glory to him. For the time has come
when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made heaven and earth,
the sea and all the springs of water.’ – Revelation 14:7
I wrote about it in one email: it gives me goosebumps. It’s so poetic, which I think appeals to me, and communicates so much more emotion than an essay could ever do. wow. plus reading revelations allows me to see this god of judgement that people seem to tiptoe around and avoid, even though its integral to his being. A god who does not judge cannot be a just god. a just god gives to people what they deserve. which he must do, if they dont accept the gift his merciful side is giving. The fact that one of the NSC speakers quoted Revelations a lot in his talk was also a wake up to the relevancy of the book.
On another note, other important news: my time at NSC (National Student Conference).
We were in Blackpool, and I was quite surprised first of all as to how few of the English people there had actually been to Blackpool before. I mean, besides Cornwall, this is the British holiday destination, right?
Anyway, I was thinking it over and talking about it to a couple of people, about what I learned and how it had affected me, and I came to realise that it was quite different to a lot of conferences I’ve ben on previously. Firstly, I didn’t get emotional at all. Now, this is not a bad thing. I think that it meant that any promises or decisions I came to make were made rationally, and because they weren’t the result of an emotional high, they were more likely to be seen through later on. Which I found is quite true.
I think one thing I was convicted of was that I hadn’t really been much of a witness at my university. My involvement in CU has been minimal at best, mainly because I never really felt part of the group when I went and kind of got tired of going there, forcing myself to join in conversations and just never really click. However, this is a crap excuse to support my once-every-three-weeks attendance record, so I will (God-willing) start going again. However, CU alone shouldn’t be my motivation or spring board to witnessing to my friends, but rather God and the knowledge that they don’t know how to get to heaven: but I do.
Just a note: I know that I’m never the one that brings people to Christ, but God; however, the reason we witness is because a) we were commanded to, and b) it gives glory to God.
A lot of the talks were going over the basics of Christianity, but I’d left for the conference determined to learn with an open mind. It turned out that the basics, after being repeated over and over to me in my life, had started to go stale and not really be present in my day-to-day life, but after hearing them again with a new attitude, I’ve decided to try to incorporate them into how I live. One was the concept of spiritual breathing: confessing our sins, (exhaling), and then asking for God to fill us with his Spirit (inhaling). One thing that stuck out from the talk was that it was said: we are already full of the Spirit, so when we ask him to fill us up, we are actually surrending more of ourselves to Christ for him to replace – he can only fill and permeate what we have surrendered. That was a new slant on the concept that I found to be quite significant.
As the weekend of the SAFE retreat dawns, I’ve just been praying that God will continue to teach me new things, but also that as I prepare worship He would work in spite of me to touch people’s hearts. I’d also ask that, should you have time in your quiet times, you would lift up everyone who’s going to find Christ in a new way.
Anyway, this post is starting to look more like an essay, so kudos to everyone who was able to read through to this last bit: holy points!
If you’ve still got patience, some funny stories from the weekend:
Because we were right next to the beach (literally across the road) and it was a nice sandy one, we decided that it would be awesome to watch the sunrise. So we decided to get up at 5.30 – though I got real friendly with the snooze button so we ended up getting up at 6am. Got clothes on, coats, camera, then hiked it over to the beach.
We waited a good 15-odd minutes, and it still wasn’t looking like it would be coming up soon. We were freezing, so decided to head back, where we both crashed into bed.
So yeah, we got up too early, then slept right through it, haha. How did a couple students beat the sunrise?
Also: I had an unfortunate encounter with some dog business while doing evangelism in Liverpool haha. Fortunately, I got on so well with my Irish partner Lloyd, that it was more of an inconvenience than an embarassment. We ended up going to a gas station – petrol, sorry – and I got some plastic gloves and paper roll. Now, if I had had Converse instead of Skechers, it would have been a simple case of wiping it off on the grass, but no, all the stupid little grooves thinner than my finger HAD to be there! *sigh* It’s off now, though. And I’m not gonna tell you which shoes they were (for all you smart-mouths out there, yeah they were my Skechers, but did you know I have THREE pairs?!) so that I won’t be victimised should I enter within your personal circle wearing them. Even though they are CLEAN, that’s not relevant to you evil-minded teasers out there, is it?!