The week just gone has been up and down, yet another that I have learnt from.
Monday seems so long ago… The Abel boys came in to work, doing some data entry and manipulation for a database we’re migrating to at church. I sat down with Gary and Bruce to look at the future of the office at St Paul’s as well. At night I caught up with Geoff. We headed off to Macquarie Centre for dinner and a movie: Cowboys and Aliens starring Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde. It was a pretty bad movie… There wasn’t a great deal of explanation, but then there was too much for the viewer to try and work things out themselves. After the movie we also got to have a good little chat in the carpark…
Tuesday was a little busy. After graceat6 meeting, I got along to senior staff meeting as well, where Fiona Denton; a clinical psychologist, came to speak to us about handling people. It was a good session with plenty of practical tips, like listening, sympathising or empathising, and not trying to fix the problems straight away.
Wednesday was a bit quieter in the office, and I managed to start getting a few changes under way. In the evening I got off to growth group where we looked at evangelism.
Thursday was a such a glorious day!! As most of the staff weren’t around and it was fairly quiet, I got out to Ikea to pick up some furniture for the office; a Expedit bookshelf divider and a Lack coffee table, and also for my room, a Malm bedside table and a Poang chair. And who visits Ikea without getting a bargain $1 hot dog and $1 drink?? In the afternoon, the Abel boys assembled our Expedit shelf for us whilst we continued to look at the changes. At college we looked at Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and some of the persecution that happened around the early church thanks to Decius and Diocletian, and the response of a bishop of Rome; Cyprian. When I got home, I put together my furniture pieces before going to bed; possibly an unwise move, but fun nonetheless.
Friday was a long long day!! After waking, I packed my bags for Engage before going to work late-ish. Once there it was a fairly quiet morning, but that ramped up in the afternoon with more enquiries than normal, and people wanting things done kind of last minute; not something I’m a fan of…
Touch was pretty fun; we got about 10 a side going. I was out on the far wing which didn’t see much of the ball.. After a quick stint in the middle I ducked back out to the wing and managed to score a try off of that, outrunning about 3 players down the sideline. I did manage to suffer a fairly heavy knock on the head when I was pushed over by Ben after another try by our guys. I have to admit that I was being a little cheeky and running along side him whilst he was chasing our player down.
SALT was good, though I didn’t manage to snap any photos because I had to set up some tech gear in the admin building. When it finished, Mike and I drove up to Blackheath where we were staying the weekend for Engage. We arrived at around 11ish and just managed to beat the people already up for the Friday night session. I got to share a room with Matt.
In the morning I got up and went for a run down past the shops and back. It was a 4.45km run, but it felt quite slow… Guess that happens when you don’t run for a while… After breakfast and coffee, we headed up to Katoomba where Rory Shiner and John Piper spoke on 1 Corinthians 15 and Philippians 1 respectively. I’ll post a proper review of the Engage talks later, after I’ve had a chance to review my notes, and possibly listen to some of the talks again. Over lunch I ran into Jacqui Ng and got to speak to her at length, finding out that she is about to go overseas with OMF. In the afternoon, I spent my time reading and slowly chipping away at my Church History assignment on Aphrahat. For dinner we had tacos, followed by icecream, apple & pear slices, chocolate covered strawberries, nuts and diced Mars Bars for dessert.
The timing of dinner and departure got to me. There were some of the group that just didn’t make much of a move, or do much to help out; Blackheath is a good 10-15 minute drive away and doors were to open at 7pm. There wasn’t even an inkling of movement to leave at 6:40pm, so I ended up just jumping in my car and going by myself. I snagged a table, but it was further back than I’d have liked, and then the whole group ended up sitting around me anyway. After the night session, I got to hear Con Campbell’s jazz quartet for about half an hour. It was some good jazz, as per usual. It would have been good to have been with some people or met some people, but I just stood there by myself. When the jazz finished up, thanks to the noise levels, I was wandering down the mountain by myself, when this guy next to me asked me how I was going, something that was a bit refreshing and what I needed at the time… We got to chatting as we kept on heading down and even stopped in the carpark for about 5 or 10 minutes talking about life direction, bible college and the talks. I’m not sure why this kind of situation keeps on coming up. Some might say I’m too sensitive and to change that, but that’s not really something that is an easy change… I think there’s a need to develop more of a thick skin, and perhaps make people more aware? but I’m not really sure…
This morning I ran down Evans Road, in the fog, to the lookout and got a bit of perspective; of how small and insignificant I am in this world, and yet I am precious in God’s eyes, so much so that He sent Jesus to die for all of my mistakes… The run back from the lookout was a little tough, being uphill, but it was worth it, ending up around 6km all up. After breakfast, there was a big packup and then off to the final sessions of Engage. I got a chance to talk to one of the Christian guys I grew up with: Dave Irving and that was good. The last two talks were given by Rory Shiner and they were really enjoyable, but it did take well over an hour of videos, songs, prayer and an interview with Piper for them to start. Perhaps graceat6 has influenced me too much; starting with our time in the bible… I drove Mike back down the mountain, dropping him off at church and then heading to Carlingford Village to grab some lunch: Chicken Chow Mein and then arriving home to find a pair of Conways there, playing Xbox.
At graceat6 Gary spoke on 1 Kings 10 on the greatness of Solomon. He showed us how great in wisdom and wealth Solomon was, and the way in which he fulfilled the covenant made to Abraham. This was the high point in Israel‘s history!! But in light of Jesus, Solomon is a distant shadow, a prototype, because He doesn’t fail. So we need to think about our contentment, and our generosity, but not so much in our possessions and wealth, but more in what we have as citizens of God’s Kingdom, ie the Gospel.