Monday, December 22, 2003

December Drain

I am writing after enjoying my first sleep-in for ages. By enjoy I mean endure because I was too tired and sick to enjoy it and ended up picking up my phone every five minutes to answer calls. I am always too curious to ever turn off my phone. Hopefully this will change!

Since i last blogged I have gone non-stop. Dan arrived and we went straight to the Star Sailor concert which Whence He came supported. Thank you so much to WHC not only for a complimentary ticket but also a chance to see you outshine some British yobos! On the weekend I went to Stanley for Bethany's Christmas 'do' which was fun: me and a bunch of girlies! Well, until the blokes arrived! Sunday I played a centurion in the one_eighty part of the Vine Christmas Pageant as well as a tree for the Primetime contribution (and though I think I played the part very well it was a part that Keanu reeves was made for!)

Sunday evening my Pappy went into hospital for heart trouble. He has had three heart attacks and 2 operations and so this is the latest in a line of minor trouble for him. By Tuesday he was operated(angioplasty) on (another stent) and by Wednesday he was out so praise to God for such a quick solution to it all.

Anyway I am gonna stop saying exactly what I have done and talk a little. I guess i will never go through two weeks like I have recently, I spent energy like it was going out of fashion. Not necessarily being energetic but by constantly doing things, staying up, waking early as well as having stresses that just zapped my energy away (my Dad). Today is the first time I have been alone (well, since Dan left and apart from on the MTR) for a very long time and I feel even being with people can take energy simply because you have to concentrate and interact etc. So I have done what I rarely do and have stayed in. Half an hour ago I helped my Mama decorate the tree (we are usually xmas eve decoraters and February cleaners) and now i am locked up in my room contemplating how it got to 11pm without me rushing off to the Starbucks for a fix before it closed at half ten(in shatin). Anyway the rest of my time I will simply illustrate with pictures:

Star Sailor and the concert.








School Santas:




Did I mention I saw the TWINS!!!!!




The one_eighty Christmas party: Soiree de Noel




Hard to read I know but it says "Poo Ultra Potent"! Oh the jokes that abound in my head with this...




How tired I looked at the end of it all.




Fun on the way to Bethany's




My Dad in good spirits...




A busy HK market street, it is soo busy right now...




Ben & Russ




Dave looking good...




Strange but true: Danchopstix




Circuit babeeee!!!




Camillo bowling...




Bob and tree...




Dan in Hong Kong




And how I pass these cold winter nights...



I have felt challenged recently by how hardcore I am. I read, I pray (not enough, always need to pray more) I worship all alone. I am even getting off my butt enough to memorize verses weekly now instead of every 10,000 years. But still i don't feel that my time with God, alone and in public, is as passionate as it should be or as my heart feels. I guess I need to express my heart more. This time on Earth should be in perspective of Heaven. God is not gonna care how much I earn but how much He knows me and I Him. My bonus, my dvd collection or my penchant for tight shirts are not gonna bless God. My heart, my worship, my excellence and my time. These things matter.

Now I don't feel I have expressed myself well but I will not change it. I don't feel down spiriitually and neither do I feel like I am not excited or anything I guess I just want to do more, to give up more for God. I can't wait to see what God does with my life!

I also can't wait for my younger sister to come back from Nashville! I haven't seen her in a year and she is only back for five days. FIVE DAYS! This is the sort of frustration swear words were invented for!

Bless and merry Christmas! May God give you blessings beyond what you have hoped and may He reveal to you the awesome gift that He is!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Work, Christmas, travel and rest... No I lie! I shall name this post "Stuff". Thank you.

It feels like yesterday the last time I posted and it only really crept up on me during the weekend that I had not updated for a while. I guess time is going too quickly, all of a sudden term in near the end, Halloween has been replaced with Christmas and I have too much blah to do before the real Christmas spirit can sink in.

This will be my second Christmas in Hong Kong since I came back from Wales and so much has changed. My social circle is completely different from before, I go to a different church, I have a job (!) and my relationship with God has really moved on in exciting ways! I guess one_eighty, Church and social group all go hand in hand but a year ago my job (or lack of) was the hard part. I was used in my Welsh church and so to come back to HK - land of my former back-slidden self - and to my family, Chinese-speaking church was quite a challenge. I wanted to serve, to do stuff, to be part of my church as I was in Aber (Wales) but it just didn't happen.

Then I got sick, not completely bed-ridden sick but in-between sick(with some-worrying side-effects but I'm a shy guy!) and this lasted for months - October to February. I finally went to the Doctor (to let you know more about me: I hate having to go to weddings (except yours...), airports, hospitals, administration places (passports, id cards etc) and to the doctors). I hadn't been in 10 years and after all that time the doc eventually told me that it was pollution. I mean what a let down! No 'here's an antibiotic and you should be fine in days' or ' you have bla bla disease and need immediate treatment' but simply a 'you will not get significantly better, here is an off-the-shelf decongestant'. After I raved on for a while I took the decongestant and have been fine ever since BUT to carry on with last year's comparison, I was sick, unemployed, unused and also slightly insomniac. I would not sleep for days and yet I did nothing much in my days anyway so it got rather frustrating.

Finally Christmas rolled around, friends returned and life picked up but it could only be short-lived because they would all go, which they did. But God took my life into another chapter (ouch! cliche...) and I got two jobs at once, joined a gym to lose some (some!) weight, properly entered the one_eighty circle (in my mind) when I went to Christian, Janice and Suki's house-warming and then felt God's presence in my life once more.

To be honest that was one of the weird things; that through all my time before God's presence wasn't felt. It was hard not feeling God and so I found my self asking how could I go through such a rough time while being a Christian? I had had bad times before I came back to God (God brought me back) but why was I going through hardship when I was trying to live a Godly life? Well a couple months ago God revealed it to me that His presence and the feeling of His presence are two completely different things. When He let's that 'feeling' depart we have to rely on all He has told us before and realise that He is in fact still there, always has been and always will be. It's a test but God equips us. I'm not saying everyone goes through it like I did or at all, in fact I know people who have gone through so much worse that I know my experience was small yet big enough for me.

Anyway I didn't mean to harp on, I haven't double-checked what I wrote either so excuse the errors!

Here are some pictures from my last two weeks...

Some students pig out...



Naughty boy looking innocent...



Student tries out a rock-chick look...



I try out my Elvis look...



Dawn and Cliff try their hand at one-finger wrestling, with Dawn coming out on top... no no better: with Dawn beating Cliff by a nose... hyuk!



Apple: it's a status thing...



Mandy searches for love...



The airport at dawn after driving my pappy there...



And from the driver's seat I can still see Admiral-tee (imagine Tom's voice and the *actual* rhythm etc.)...



And in honour of Dan who returns tomorrow (11.12.03): the bald and the beautiful (sorry about the quality!)...