Sorry for the late updates, I've been really lazy about it. As most of you know, I went on a camp with student life a few weeks back, it was awesome. Actually, it was quite a bit eye-opening. Y'see, the week before I went there, I was struggling a bit with God using me, or not using me as it were. I felt I was too quiet and introverted to do anything for Him.
But while I was on camp, I was the most talkative and out there person I've ever been (ok...that sounds weird :p). At the end of camp, one of the girls there said to me that I encouraged her heaps, by being a new Christian, and still willing to voice my opinions and leading some things (like, group discussion)
At first I'm like "wow, that's awesome God is using me after all". After a while, though, I began to think that God was just showing that He can give me the power to be "out there", if He wishes. Indeed, a quote I read and liked while I was there was "Don't be proud if God uses you, he could use a talking pig if He wished", and those words ring true.
Last SNL service, I went and prayed at the altar as I sometimes do, and Pastor Robin asked me if I'd like to be blessed, and what specifically. I mentioned my quietness in this regard, and he gave me the most encouraging words I could possibly hope for. He told me that quiet people are generally more thoughtful, kind, caring and deep people than the louder ones, and can show God through those qualities far better than through something that I'm not. Wow.
Anyway, I wrote some things while I was on camp, I've copied and pasted some of it here. I missed some out, bwa ha ha, that's personal :p
Camp – Day 1
Well, not really a day as such – I’d probably call it an evening to be perfectly honest. Seems the Spirit is doing wonders for me atm – I’m quite extroverted and talkative, meeting tones of new people and (usually) even holding somewhat decent conversation with some of them :o) Praise God.
Got to Beenleigh station at 5:45 with no drama, waited there for about 5 or 10 minutes, then a tarago pulls up. Forgot that Scott drove a Tarago, so I just sat there still – didn’t even take a second glance at the Tarago. Phone rings, it’s Scott, calling from inside the Tarago. So I get in the car :o). Had some asian take away because KFC was way too full. And we made our merry way up to Tamborine. Windy road, reminded me of Cairns and made me think of stars. Looks like Paula brought me to see stars far far before I get the chance to take her to some. Sigh. Oh well :o)
When we got here the reception was awesome – really cool people (there’s an awful lot of really cool Christians, I’ve noticed). Paula was singing away at the mic, as expected, and I went and got my name badge and had a good ol’ yak to Stuart.
Bit of socializing, and the activities for the night started. The “Blues siblings” (Tim and [insert her name here]) did quite a few cool skits, Baa-aa, Moo, Neigh game to get everyone fired up. Then they switched to some aussie-type clothes, and did a skit to show everyone how socializing doesn’t always work (two distinctly different people trying to talk in a bar – funny, because Paula and I are quite completely different and never have trouble…). We then did heel-and-toe as a big group. Part of my extrovertedness came out here – I got Paula up to help show people how to do it. Both of us, not just her. :D was fun, but squishy, but fun. Paula suggested that we do a modern jive lesson for the popples. She wasn’t being totally serious, but I thought it was a cool idea, we ran it by Tim. Hopefully we will run it during the free time tomorrow, it’ll be a ball :D
After a bit of worship, the preacher guy started his sermon joke. Funny joke here:
A trucky stops at a truck stop, and order a fries, burger and coke. Just as he sits down to eat it, 3 big rough lookin’ guys (Hell’s Angels type thing) ride in on their Harleys, the whole tattoo type kit, nose rings, earrings, you name it, they’re crazy. One walks up and takes a big handful of his chips and eats it. The next takes a huge swig of the drink, and puts it back. The last guy eats half the burger, returning the rest to the guys plate.
The guy, being Christian (hence, cool :p) goes and pays for meal, and wanders back to his truck without saying much at all. The Hell’s Angels guys head to the cashier and say “He’s a bit of a wimp aint he?”, the cashier goes “I dunno, but I know he’s a pretty horrible driver – he just ran over 3 Harley’s”.
The preacher was mainly focused on encouragement. I think that everyone really wants encouragement. If we do something, we like to be noticed, even if we don’t ask for it (being humble and all). I know that I get encouraged and discouraged at times, I prefer the encouraged :) heheh.
Something that stuck at me during the sermon was he mentioned if one of these Hell’s Angels type people came to church while we were at the door, greeting people, if we’d embrace him and say “Welcome to the Family!” or if we’d reject him saying “You can’t smoke in here.” And “You can’t wear those clothes in God’s house!” and etc. etc. etc. – could go on forever. I wonder what I’d choose – encouragement or discouragement. I think I’d go encouragement – words of a from complete stranger guy “What’s a Christian look like?”. Encouragement! Wow.
Barnabas was a prime example of encouragement - check him out!
Day 2 (well, half way through day 2)
Well, after a refreshing 4-5ish hours sleep, bright and ready and rearing to go!! Oh yeah.
Not really, seems my extroverted self has run away, I’m all introverted today. I blame my tiredness, or rather, lack of awakeness ^_^. I did get up early enough for morning prayer though – even had a shower beforehand and all. Forgot my towel, used my work shirt, it was great. :D. Forgot my deodorant, used someone else’s deodorant. Great fun!
I missed half of morning prayer, they were praying for others when we started. Then we thanks the Lord for things, and … damn, can’t remember. It was pretty good though :-)
As was breakfast – cereal, then scrambled eggs and bacon, or bacon and eggs, depending on which way you like to say it. MMM.
Had an awesome preaching after that – another cool joke: Here ‘tis:
An Englishman, Scotsman and [insert stereotypically less bright race]man – Let’s call it islbrman – are stuck in a Nazi concentration camp. They manage to escape, but are caught at the edge of a forest, and the alarm bells go off. So, thinking quickly, they all dash up different trees. The sniffer dogs smell around the bottom of one tree, the one with the Englishman in it, and thinking quickly, he goes “tweet tweet”. The guard shouts “YOU STUPID DOG! IT’S JUST A BIRD!!”. The dog moves to the next tree, starts barking, and the Scotsman, remembering the Englishman’s idea, tries it out: “Hoot Hoot!”. Same response from the guard, just with owl instead of bird… The dog then barks at the tree of the islbrman’s tree, and following the other people’s lead, goes “mooo”.
Somehow, I think that joke works better when said…heehee
I think I forgot to mention that the sermon yesterday was about “Encourage each other daily”. Well, that was the big part of it anyway. Today, it was focusing on encouraging one another. Indeed “Accept one another” was the whole saying thing we had going on then. A lot of it was from Romans, and how people coming from, say, a Pagan would feel uncomfortable as a new Christian, eating meet that was offered to the idol and then sold at the market. For Christians who are strong in faith in that department, it is ok for them to eat the meet, as they know it’s just meat, and is a blessing from God. But Pagans who are of lesser faith may harm their faith by eating said meet, because they’re unsure of it.
They said that things that we are uncertain about whether they are sinful or not, is generally regarding as sinful. I wonder how this applies in my life, what I’m certain and uncertain about. Dot dot dot…
Indifference came into play a lot here – I’ve found, in my experience, that most people are rather indifferent about denominations and things, and are generally accepting of people regardless. That’s just who I’ve met though, others may not share the people I’ve met’s mindset there (argh, bad, bad sentence). It was an interesting thought process anyway.
We then split off into groups and talked about things that could ‘split’ people, especially in regards to campus Christianity, and personal experiences of weakness and strengths in people, and ourselves. See notes for more.
Had some quiet time… I must say, I work much better in group environments than on my own, but having time to pray and think things already covered through helped me a lot. Yay!
Then we went to training, not a whole lot of new material there, but I think I learnt a few things still, put some things in perspective, and saw other people’s views on some things, so I’m not complaining. It was good :)
We had some free time after that, went and had a game of soccer. After it was 2-2, we decide to go ‘next goal wins’. 30 seconds later, the other team scores SHAME! Heaps of fun though
Now we’re still in free time, Paula’s pretty much asleep next to me here as I type this, I really feel like sleeping, I think quite a few other people here share that mindset. Let’s see how that goes.
Sorry about the length, hopefully entertained you while you were procrastinating :o). I didn't write any more than that, unfrotunately, I kinda wish I kept up with it heh. Stay tuned...until next time...maybe a few months away now