This week has seemed fairly long, with a few things going on…
So this week has been a fairly fun week.
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…
This week I’ve been blessed with a quiet-ish week, which is just what I’ve needed…
I don’t remember a whole lot of my week to be honest… I’ve had a fair amount to think through and talk about some of the things I wrote on last weeks SunSum.
This week has been a bit of an unusual one… Kind of wavy to be honest with a number of highs and lows spattered throughout…
Well, I’m currently in Hong Kong where it is “summer”. Temperature is higher, but humidity is also higher. Most places you go have the air conditioning on, so the difference in temperature between inside and out is significant.
This last week has felt a lot calmer, despite there being more things to be done…
On Monday I got a good sleep-in, before spending the day relaxing and not doing particularly much. I’ve been playing Infamous on PS3, which was one of the free ‘welcome back’ games on offer after PSN was hacked. In the evening, Geoff dropped around for dinner and our final run through of Smallville. We ducked out to the shops for some ingredients to cook up a chilli flakes, thyme, lemon and mushroom risotto, topped with hot pancetta. It was pretty delicious. We watched a few episodes of Community, and ate some Mersey Valley Vintage Cheddar with cracked pepper crackers whilst cooking dinner, and then 4 episodes of Smallville. The finale put some good closure on the 10 year long series. It was pretty obvious that Clark had to become Superman, but some of the other bits were a little bit more surprising.
Tuesday being first day back at work after a long weekend, there were quite a few bits and pieces to tidy up, as well as continue to work out handover of tasks & jobs to my colleagues. At night I didn’t do much, though in retrospect there was a heap more that I could have and should have done, like pack, and organise computer files.
Wednesday I took my day-in-lieu for my Saturday server install. It wasn’t as productive as I would have liked it to have been. I got my car out for it’s 5 year service in Hornsby before slowly making my way back to Carlingford in the rain. At night for growth group, we looked at Matthew 26 with a greatly diminished group. It was a really good discussion through, especially through the Lord’s supper, and Jesus’ words in verses 26 to 29; a great culmination of old testament ideas of covenant, law, sacrifice and God’s wrath, finding their fulfilment in Jesus.
On Thursday afternoon Nicky came with me to Gary’s place so we could enlist his help in biblical theology study for our exam. It was really useful and we got to go through the history of promise diagram. After that was all done, we enjoyed a fantastic home cooked meal by Gary of roast pork, complete with crispy crispy crackling, roast potatoes, pumpkin & sweet potatoes and broccoli, with Pearl, Tomas and Annabel. Then when I got home, it was packing time; many dilemmas in figuring how much to take considering that I have a number of planned purchases on my list.
Finally Friday rocked around, and I was pretty much in holiday mode already, but still slightly aware of the need to get things completed and not leave anyone in the lurch, yet with the opinion that leaving some things up in the air would help people more, and allow them to grow, than hinder them. My last touch for 2 weeks was pretty enjoyable, though playing on the wing always comes with sorrow and delight; having to always be on in defence, and not getting many opportunities in offence. It did pay off in the end when I got across the line for a try, thanks to Tony and Nicky for the assist.
Yesterday was my flight to Hong Kong. It was a comfortable flight, with plenty of delicious food and drink to keep us comfortable. On the lunch menu for me was a carrot and celery salad with a balsamic dressing, braised chicken with a tomato and fennel sauce and roasted new potatoes, cheese and crackers, a Lindor ball, coffee, a mango & cream Weiss bar and an organic peppermint tea.
The in-flight entertainment was alright, though there were plenty of movies I’d already seen, so I ended up watching Cedar Place and The Dilemma; both comedies. Kinda funny, but nothing lol-hilarious. and then The Mechanic. As I was talking to my family today, we were discussing what films they watched as well. Dad’s answers were the best; Just Do It aka Just Go With It and a film with no title, which turned out to be Unknown.
After touching down we made our way through customs and caught the MTR into Hong Kong central. You know those moments where you think you should do something, but don’t end up doing it and then regret the fact afterwards? I had one of those in the terminal; as I was waiting in the customs line, there was this girl standing behind me. I thought that I should have talked to her, but being an introvert, just couldn’t bring myself to do it… After passing through customs and baggage claim, before jumping on the MTR, I saw her again, wandering around, kind of aimlessly, not knowing what to do/where to go… If I had of talked to her in the line, I could have helped her get where she was going…
One of the great things in Hong Kong is how cheap the price of common things is. For the three of us to catch the MTR from the airport into Hong Kong Central was HKD$210, which is roughly AUD$30, and then the taxi from there to Causeway Bay was another HKD$50. Food is another thing that can be fairly cheap, with plenty of deals and packages available. We ate dinner last night at a local restaurant, eating chicken, broccoli and fish cakes with rice.
This morning we got to church at Tsim Sha Tsui Baptist Church’s english service. When compared to graceat6, this service was an absolute mess, and made me realise how good and well oiled our church actually is, despite seeing things not happen, or go wrong so often. The service leader was not particularly organised, we sung hymns, that were played on an organ with no song leader and were out of time and slow. The bible reading was from the good news bible. The sermon was from Matthew 18:21-35, but not preached in the normal manner that I’m used to at St Paul’s; the speaker used plenty of anecdotes at the start of each point that he was trying to make, which I think detracted from the word. He got the congregation to read through the passage relevant to each ‘principle’ he was focusing on, which he wanted to have the impact of getting the congregation to focus on text more, but the reading was not done with unity, and I was distracted more than focused. He also seemed to read in and fill out what was happening in the text, referring to the greek and trying to explain to the congregation participles and imperatives. In the end he did remind us that when we look at forgiveness, we need to be reminded of the cross; the mercy that God showed to us, and to show the same to others.
After church we hung out with some of the members at Delifrance for brunch. We have some family friends, the Chows, who have 2 daughters that we’ve watched grow up. It was good to see them, and also spend time with them. We ended up driving around Kowloon and then over to Hong Kong Central, taking in lunch at a place in IFC Mall. I got a tasty curry chicken, and a lime with aloe vera to drink.
This is my first Sunday summary post since being in Hong Kong, I’ve not worked out when to post, whether I abide by Australian time, or I post according to Hong Kong time, which is currently 3 hours behind…
So the main reason that I’m over here in Hong Kong is for my cousin Calvin’s wedding. Secondary to that is some shopping. I like the shopping in Hong Kong because things tend to be more my size, the exchange rate is usually good, there are plenty of options and the styles suit me well. I hope to refresh and reinvigorate my personal bible reading and prayer, with the discipleship journal, and a couple of Christian books, as well as work on my photographic skills, developing my eye to see and shoot some great shots.
Wow, this week has been really busy and intense…
Monday was the double act of N E X U S and the aftermath of the server upgrade. I was pretty much non-stop G.O. from about 8am. It wasn’t a stressful preparation for the conference with some last-minute sign-making, nametags and final room setup. The other side of the coin were questions relating to the use of our computer network, which had gone through some significant changes, for the better, over the weekend, but weren’t totally complete. I had the great opportunity to say “No” to various requests and questions, passing them off to Craig. I got out to have lunch with some of the guys before entering zero-hour as guests started turning up. The talks from the day were really good, looking at what the church is, and ways in which we can improve and make changes. Last year for dinner, I went and ate by myself, and I made people aware of this fact because it was such a disappointment. This year I had 5 groups of people ask me to eat with them, a significant change up from last year. I ended up going with Gary and Pearl with a few older guys up at Carlingford Court.
On Tuesday morning, there was again some computing issues (something that would ‘plague’ me all week), but we got to discussing a fair bit of the things that were said at N E X U S, especially at graceat6 meeting. One thing that was of note was the church and it’s mission: whether evangelism, and holding an evangelistic meeting, was part and parcel of that.
Tuesday night I went home to pick up my dad, before heading out for dinner at Fook Yuen in Chatswood via Macquarie Uni to pick up my mum. We were out for my sister’s 28th birthday, which was happening on Wednesday. Dinner was tasty; dishes of note were the spicy & salty pork chops, and the pigeon.
Wednesday night at growth group, despite intending to start at 7pm, we got going at 7:30ish and read through a great chunk of Matthew; the main concentration being on chapter 24. We split into groups and creatively worked out ways to explain the passage as well as come up with questions for the sections we were assigned. To be honest, I found it detrimental to the study, as I’m not a fan of the creative, and I’d prefer that we just go through the passage and discuss it as a group. I do see the reason why our leaders are doing it though; it gives our less vocal people a chance to interact and speak up, whereas they may not do so whilst the main group is together, either because they’re a bit shy, or more vocal and opinionated people constantly speak up, something that I think need to be addressed, or they need to be made aware of…
Thursday night was the last night of lectures for college for this semester, and sadly the last night of college with Nicky. In the lectures, Peter spoke about preaching biblical theology, something that is commonplace at St Paul’s, but apparently less so at other churches, by the way people were asking questions. There were some interesting (practically pointless) questions asked by some of my classmates again… I’m really going to miss Thursday night college with Nicky, she is a great sister in Christ and always helped to calm me down, listen and talk through things over the last semester. I really really value her friendship, but at the same time need to be quite cautious in how much I tell her/rely on her since her main male relationship is, and should be, with Steve. If God does bless me with a significant other, I hope and pray that she is as kind, caring, thoughtful and loving as Nicky (And no, I’m not writing this just because I know she is reading this).
Friday was a long long day. More computer problems, quite demanding ones, which I still managed to avoid, before talking to Rose and Toni about some of the duties they may need to cover in my absence over the next three weeks. At the end of the day, I got onto the usual touch footy. Numbers were down, I think a combination of long weekend absentees and ‘wet weather’. We ended up with probably 13 people. I managed to score 4 tries coming from a few intercepts and a few well timed runs. At SALT we had Pat Jones from Menai Anglican come to speak for an evangelistic talk from John 3. After SALT I headed out to The Argyle with Nicky for Random Soul Recordings’ first Sydney party called Takin’ It Back. Yogi and Husky AKA Random Soul pumped out a great mix of funky, deep and jackin house tunes, warranting some great dancing.
Saturday morning I got a good sleep in, something that is rare in my world… After a little bit of room organisation, I headed down to the bowls club in Denistone for part 1 of Hamish’s bucks. It was a good bit of fun, and I got to rekindle some of my lawn bowling skills. We wrapped up mid-afternoon and I snuck in a quick nap before heading out to the Red Oak Brewery in the city for part 2 of the bucks, aka dinner and drinks. Traffic in, and parking were a bit chaotic; I took a good 40 minutes to make it from Milson’s Point to parking the car. For dinner I had the bread board, quite the tasty light meal consisting of 4 types of breads with a pumpkin dip, avocado dip, Asian marinated olives and garlic oil.
This morning, Nic and got to read Acts 16 and talk about a number of different things, including Hillsong and the way that we approach it as Anglicans… In the afternoon I headed to the movies to use up another movie ticket that I had, due at the end of June, to see X-Men: First Class. It was a good film, looking into some great X-Men lore. Some of the effects were a little off, I don’t recall seeing Stan Lee, and unfortunately there wasn’t a post-credit scene. There was also a scene in which Raven/Mystique is speaking to Hank/Beast about living in the world, but not being a part of it, which I thought rang true with the Christian experience.
Tonight at graceat6 I tried to do as little as possible, quite a difficult task really, hopefully to gear up everyone to ‘cope’ in my absence. I got to sit in the ‘pews’ with the regular people and experience church without tasks or jobs to do. I managed to hold myself back and not touch any equipment, or get up to correct errors, in the hope that people would learn to fix things themselves. Our preacher tonight was one of our overseas ministry partners: Kent. He spoke from Mark 1, which, after introducing Jesus, goes on to speak about guilt and shame in the healing of a leper and a paralytic. There were some great insights into the text, drawing out the deliberate actions of Jesus, and helping us realize/remember the relational nature of God.
This week will be an extra extra short week with tomorrow being a public holiday, and I have Wednesday off as a make up for the Saturday server install. I have quite a bit to do, and I’m flying out to Hong Kong next Saturday for just under three weeks. I’m looking forward to the time off, but then I am also aware and a bit fearful of the fallout that this will cause and I’ll have to sort out on my return.
This week started alright, before sharply falling and then rising up again slowly.
Monday morning, I got an hour off to recover from the weekend. At night I missed out on catching up with Geoff because of his college work, but I spent the time resting and recovering a bit more from the weekend.
Tuesday was the killer day. There were some problems with our new email system where people were upset. It brought up past issues with church technology and it’s past implementations, which had nothing to do with me, and felt like they laid blame on me, whether they meant it or not. Now I must admit that I’m a bit of a “blame monger” i.e. I seem to look for the blame in most things; where it rests, what was the cause of the confrontation etc etc. I’m not sure why, but whenever people seem to have a problem and approach me about it, I always seem to get on the defensive, seemingly subconsciously. So that pretty much ruined my Tuesday.. It was such a rough confrontation that I was almost in tears… and fragile for the rest of the day. In the evening it was my turn to cook dinner, so it was off to Coles to grab some ingredients for a prawn & pea risotto, which was delicious!! I spent the rest of the evening tweaking my parents new laptops.
Wednesday was a fairly good, quiet one. In the afternoon I made some physical changes to the church by swapping the projectors in the main hall because the main one had a yellow tinge to it. It was quite an involved job, especially since I did it with no help. After work, I got home to see my folks and deliver their laptops, before heading to growth group where we studied some more Matthew
Thursday night college was alright. We looked at the resurrection and the Holy Spirit, before our lack-lustre peer group on the biblical theology of the Sabbath. One of the guys that was supposed to be leading left early because he felt sick, so the rest of us had to work through without much direction. Rather than looking at the biblical theology of things, we looked at the passages almost solely, trying to understand them as individual passages, rather than threading a biblical theological thread through them.
Friday was again quiet, but a little tough to concentrate on proper work… It was good to get back into touch football after a couple weeks worth of breaks. I scored a try early on in the piece; a good stride down the left hand wing, off a ball from Mike. At SALT for supper, some of the kids had brought some sarsparilla, some chinotto, and some vanilla coke; all black in color. When I put them out, I did so alternately, making for a good troll on the kids after coke.
Saturday was an extremely busy day with 3 engagements to get to. The first was Equip Women’s Convention where we had to be in at Sydney Harbour Convention Centre at 7:30am. I picked up Alfie, Tim & Jack and we made our way out there. Basically our job was to prepare nametags and booklets, heard women to the auditorium for the talks, collect donations for morning tea, and then the big task of getting roughly 3,500 women to 6 different electives, including distribution of around 1,500 booklets at various entrance points. I enjoyed my time there, seeing many people that I knew from various Christian circles, as well as a whole punch of faces that I knew from seeing them around, but don’t actually know them. I can say that was really quite impressed with how many beautiful Christian women are out there, and would take the time out to attend such a conference, though I do find it a bit of a shame, for me, that the majority of them look to be married or engaged. I would like to hope that I’d find a wife out of a bunch of women like them one day… After dropping off the guys at the end of the long haul, I headed over to Pennant Hills for Jorge & Claire’s Engagement Party, which seemed to be in full swing, for some delicious gourmet foods, and good company. After a quick nap at home, it was time to get back on the party wagon at Alex Trevena’s 21st, with more good food and company.
Today I was meant to meetup with Nic, but since he had such a late night, we called it off. I helped Jase film a little movie in the hope of winning him a new phone, before heading to Macquarie Centre to see Fast & Furious 5; a good movie, with a nice twist, bringing it to a level of Fast & Furious meets Oceans 11. If this movie is the final in the series, then it wraps up well, however, like most movies these days, there was no definitive end with 100% closure, leaving an optional sequel.
At graceat6 tonight, James Davidson spoke from Luke 11:1-13 which is the Lord’s Prayer. From this he drew a number of conclusions:
- We need to remember that God is our Father
- We are to pray that God our Father is increasingly known and revered
- That we continue to ask God.
We are under His authority, yet, He is not like human fathers who are ‘evil’ in a self centered sense, rather He is tender hearted, generous and caring.
He is hallowed; meaning that He is completely unique and set apart, but that we should truly know Him as He actually is, and that His kingdom is progressively made known, not just in non-Christian hearts, but also in our own, so that the desires of our hearts move from being just centered around ourselves and our friends, rather around the glory of God.
Not in a nagging way, but with complete reliance on Him, persevering and letting God be the one who answers our prayers.
Seeking daily bread both in the provision of food to physically strengthen, but also in giving us eternal rest at the end of our days. Continuing to seek and ask for forgiveness Asking that we are not led into temptation or hard testing.
After church I got a chance to catch a few people, including Josh Charles who has stumbled upon this blog. It was encouraging to hear that he does read it, and finds it helpful/interesting to see how Christians are fairly normal, which is one of my main reasons for writing. Although I am also keen for discussion and feedback on how things are going, and that’s something I do lack on this blog.
The upcoming week should be kinda busy with a conference I need to organise for next Monday: N E X U S for those that are coming, it should be enjoyable. I’m also down to be taking a few photos for a Japan fundraiser we’re holding next Saturday, 4th June at church, called Jam4Japan. I’ll get some up here, but if you’re in the Carlingford area, and/or keen to travel there, then please do come along, should be a good evening with good tunes: 7pm – 10pm at St Paul’s Carlingford, entry is $10, with all proceeds going to relief in northern Japan.
Monday morning I was able to sleep in and recover a bit from the weekend before heading in to work. Being the holidays, things are a bit quieter, but we’re currently having issues with our server, so there’s some dramas and problems there. After work I went home and played some
NBA Jam until Geoff came over. We ate dinner; some chilly and lime mushroom risotto that I had in the freezer, before we headed over to Macq centre to the movies to see Suckerpunch.
On Tuesday night I cooked chicken and sweet corn soup with some toasted bread rolls for Steph and I. We watched a few episodes of Chuck, season 3.
Wednesday night I cooked up a carbonara and had Jane and Susannah Coles over for dinner. They brought some KYCK photos and videos over to add to my stack.
Thursday night I went home to see my folks for dinner, having the night off of college. When I came home I relaxed a bit, thought about what to pack and bring up to KYCK.
Friday morning as I was packing and getting things ready to head off to KYCK, I received a few phone calls from the security company letting me know that the alarms at church had gone off. After the second call, I went down to church to find the cleaners in the office cleaning away to the sounding alarm, after chatting to them and explaining what we expected of them, I went back home to continue packing and organizing myself for the weekend. The day was pretty quiet and relaxed, even though I had to squeeze most of my work in before heading off to KYCK #3.
I headed up the mountain again with Dusty and Erica to cook for speakers lodge, which housed some of the speakers, the KYCK committee and Garage Hymnal.
Across the whole weekend, I didn’t get the opportunity to get to any of the sessions. Erica and I spent most of our days either preparing meals or hand washing up anything that was used. Outside of that, I helped Dusty and the muscle team setup the auditorium for Saturday night and mountain camp for electives, and worked a little on CHONGLAND. I think the sojourners at speakers lodge really enjoyed our cooking in that it was a welcomed change to the menu they’d eaten over the last couple of weeks. Breakfast each day was cereal with yoghurt and tinned fruit, then bacon and eggs with toast, mushrooms and tomatoes. Saturday lunch was pumpkin soup, dinner was a slow cooked lamb casserole, and we even made triple choc brownies with ice-cream and strawberries for supper.
This morning I started the day with a 1.5km run around the mountain, it took me roughly 10 minutes in the picturesque mountain scenery and the cool air. After a shower, it was time to get onto breakfast and then looking into packing up and organising lunch before coming back to Sydney. We opted to go with the standard KYCK menu lunch of burritos, but I also made use of some bacon and scrambled eggs left over from breakfast to form some breakfast burritos as an alternative for some of the guys who’d been on KYCK for 3 weekends running.
I didn’t mind cooking at KYCK. I got to meet some of the committee and their families, pray with some of the speakers and generally serve them in order that they would be freed up and able to be fruitful in their ministry. It was a tiring task, especially at speakers lodge where we had to both cook and clean by hand.
After coming back down the mountain and stopping in briefly at the flat, it was on to graceat6 to hear Hamish Toose speak on Daniel 3. This familiar passage in which 3 of God’s faithful: Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are practically forced by Nebuchadnezzer, the ruling king at the time, to bow down and worship a created image, but refuse and are thrown into a blazing hot furnace, only to be saved by God and one that looks like a son of the gods. My implications drawn from the passage were to stand with God, despite opposition, to have confidence in God and His deliverance of us, and to know that God doesn’t have to deliver us from hard times, because they are part of the Christian walk.