Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chapter VI

I took forever to create this blog. Apologies.
The semester is over and I cannot believe it’s already been 4 months. The weeks flew by at lightning speeds, and I feel like I blinked and missed something. To say I’ve “grown is an understatement.  I cannot put a finger on exactly what things about me are different but I feel something definitely is though.
I can remember arriving to an empty flat with just a child size mattress waiting for me at my door like it was yesterday. Also, the awkward moments after awkward moments of meeting new students every five minutes. But this is no time for reminiscing. Though awesome and very memorable, the past is in the past and I must focus on what’s ahead.
A list of what’s ahead:
Grad Ceremony – End of November
Work full time all during break
Christmas Day at Kane’s house (Fuel Youth Pastor)
New Years Party
Holiday (Destination TBD) – Early Jan
Buy a motorbike – Mid January
New students start arriving – Mid January
Fuel Summer Camp – Mid January
Semester 2 commences – Later January

Questions people may want to know answers to:
Do I miss home? Sorry home, but I’m enjoying it out here too much to dwell on home. I don’t have time to miss home.

When am I going home? When it's free. Which won't be any time soon so it seems.
Are you still as excited about Hillsong Bible School as I was 4 months ago or did it die down? You guessed it… I’m even more excited. Things just keep getting better and better. Taking on more responsibility in the church. Helping change the lives of the kids in Church. New students coming in. Meeting more people.
Any girls here that I have my eye on? Nope. Sorry. The goal is to actually stay focused while I’m here. Just messing. Besides I’m a first year – no dating allowed.
Recent Events
Christmas party at Kane’s (Youth Pastor) house was hands down the best Christmas party I’ve ever been too.  Kane will be missed when he leaves to New York. Missed by family and girls that is. I don’t miss dudes. That’s weak.
Senior pastors over all of Hillsong Church Brian and Bobbie Houston put together a enormous Thanksgiving day feast for all the American and Canadian students. It was quite possibly the best day I’ve had in Australia yet. Playing volleyball, baseball, Frisbee, and tubing with all the “Big Dog” pastors of the church, as if they were just another good friend or peer playing along side us, was the best part about it. Lessons are learned from these pastors on and off the platform. Awesome guys.
Grad Ball. Wayyyy too much fun. Good times.
Most recent thought:
In Mark 13:13, Jesus says “The world will hate you because of Me…” The Jesus I believe in, the Jesus that has never let me down, the Jesus that has given me everything, will be the reason the world hates me, Eric.
Jesus said this to his disciples to which He knew it was only a matter of time before they would be living a frightfully difficult life. In fact, saying “they will hate you” was really an understatement. Jesus should have said, “The world around you won’t just hate you they’ll despise you. They will spurn you until they manage to kill off every single one of you. Your life will be threatened daily, and for hundreds of years they will make a violent attempt to rid the earth of the name of Jesus Christ.” Saying this would have scared too many off, though, I imagine, so he kept it simple.
Claiming and speaking the name Jesus Christ was practically suicide in some ways, yet this is when we can find Christianity spreading around the world more rapidly than other time in history after that. How is it we don’t have to go through what they went through, yet we still find it so hard to talk about Jesus? If anyone, if any people, had a good reason to NOT share the good news of Jesus Christ it was the early Christians, yet they shared like it was nobody’s business. In fact, they “rejoiced because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” Acts 5:41
The early Christians may have been stoned and persecuted for the Name of Jesus Christ. The worst we can expect is to have someone de-friend us on facebook. Or we might be at work and one of our co-workers might think we’re a little weird. Or the person next to you in line might think you’re awkward or something. Big deal. They we’re the cult of their society, the social outcast. We are a part of the largest, most influential, and most resilient religion in existence. They had only the words from the priests, scholars, and teachers to believe in. We have the number one most selling book of all time, The Bible, God’s truth in textual form, which has sold lifetimes more copies than the book in second place. They spoke Jesus with confidence and boldness. We can speak Jesus with confidence and boldness. This thanksgiving I’m simply thankful that the “hate” that I might come to know, is somewhat laughable when compared to the “hate” the early Christians endured. Thank you early Christians.