Thursday, December 8, 2011

That scene from Garden State.

That's the only way I can describe the way it has felt, returning to the states.
If you've seen Garden State (I'm not saying it's the most appropriate for all audiences, but it's definitely a beautiful film worth watching), you will remember the scene when the main character sits on a couch during a party while everyone around him moves in a fast-forwarded blur. That's how it feels to be back for me. All of a sudden, the trip was over and I was back into the world I left and things were moving so fast around me but I couldn't move or speak and I didn't even know how to begin to share stories or pictures or experiences and I certainly didn't know how to re-enter normal life and can everything just pause for one second while I catch my breath or find a spot to focus on before I get dizzy and fall?
But God is faithful and it's getting better, thanks to close friends and family. And being back, I see and feel that God is blessing me with an earthly home, an earthly family, and a purpose to live out. For what more could I ask?
As the Christmas season approaches (I guess it's already here!), I pray you would celebrate Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection, and that you would look forward, lamps lit, with anticipation for His coming.
Joy, joy, joy to the world indeed!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Is this real life?

Tonight is our last night in Sydney, Australia, but more than that, it is our last night abroad. Tomorrow we will re-enter the States for the first time in 3 months (to Hawaii!!!) and it is really a strange feeling. I realize I haven't been as consistent with blogging as I had planned, but in my defense, I have excuses. Internet has been super spotty in New Zealand and Australia... Plus, it really is just a pain to type long things on an iPod. So here I am with a new blog, though I'm very unsure what to even write about.
For starters, I suppose I will run through the highlights of our time in NZ and Aus. Skydiving was amazing... Not scary, just fun. :) Blackwater rafting was so incredible!! We basically spent five hours rappelling, tubing, ziplining, and free-climbing in a cave. Also in NZ, we got the chance to stay in a Marae, or traditional village of the native NZ people, the Maori. That is a whole other story in itself. In Cairns, Australia, we spent a day scuba diving and snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef. This was by far the scariest of all the extreme sports, but so worth it. In Sydney we have gotten to see a show at the Opera House, hike in the Blue Mountains, spend some time at the beach, visit Hillsong Church, etc.
Ok. So I do realize how braggy this post could sound. But I say all of this for one reason. So many people, myself included until this trip, buy into the lie that traveling and experiencing it all makes life full. People (particularly those in my generation) buy into the delusion
that a simple life means a meaningless life. While traveling is wonderful, I am here to
tell you, as someone who has been blessed to experience a lot, that nothing brings deep joy and satisfaction like the privilege of knowing Jesus Christ and being adopted by His blood into the Kingdom of God. Knowing Him more, being challenged by Him, watching Him transform my relationship with Logan... Those are the highlights of this trip for me. Honestly. And for that I am so thankful. I cannot wait to see what God will do next semester at OC. Whatever it is, I am believing that a new season of dedication and obedience is on the horizon. I would so appreciate your prayers for the OC campus, as there are so many who call themselves Chistians yet are completely unacquainted with Christ.
On a random note, Logan and I have been listening to a lot of sermons by Matt Chandler, a preacher in Dallas, Texas. The man know how to speak the Word of God!! I highly recommend his lessons... God has really used them to renew Logan and I's relationships win the Lord and bring greater commitment to our faiths.
Blessings to all of you and in the spirit of the Aussies, Happy Christmas season!!