Bible College Update I

Hello family and friends!

It has occurred to me that some of you may be interested in my life here in Caroline. So, here’s an update! We are in the middle of orientation week, getting registered and settled here on the campus. I’ve met with the Dean of Education and the Dean of Men who are both very inviting and supportive. I’ve got my books I’ll been needing for the year, and I’ve already rearranged the furniture in my room.

There are only about 18 students this year at Living Faith, and a lot of them are first year students, so it makes it easier to get to know people, which is nice.

The Clearwater River
The Clearwater River

Genoveve and I did a bit of exploring and walked down to the Clearwater River–the campus is beautiful. I’m definitely going to enjoy the opportunity to explore the countryside around me, especially as the leaves start to turn colour.

I’m not sure how many updates I’ll be posting, but I’ll try and keep you in the loop as the semester progresses!

The Adventures of Lorenzo the Llama // Part II

As Lorenzo was staring at Percy as he talked, he began to become less shocked and more overjoyed. Now he could have a friend to talk to about everything under the lights of the office. He would no longer have to feel glum about life’s circumstances: now he would have a friend!

edit-0634

As Percy continued to talk, Lorenzo continued to listen in complete happiness. Just waiting for his turn to say something or ask a question.

edit-0636

As the days wore on and Lorenzo continued to work at his office Percy continued to talk about everything he could think of. Lorenzo began to feel more glum and before. This new friend he thought he had found was not what he expected at all. One long, meeting filled day Lorenzo had had enough.  He turned to Percy and snapped “Do you ever stop talking!”

edit-0639

Shocked Percy replied “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you could speak! When I first introduced myself you just stared at me.” Continuing on he said “I was so lonely for someone to talk to I didn’t care if they spoke back.”

After an exchanging of apologies and getting the full side of each other stories they became fast friends. They remained this way, talking, laughing and experiencing the office life together for the rest of time. It was a bond that could never be broken and they couldn’t be happier.

edit-0649

(The end)

—————————————————————————————–

IMG_0451The Adventures of Lorenzo the Llama are written by Genoveve Zepeda. Photographs are by willi whiston.

Llorenzo is actually an alpaca.

The Adventures of Lorenzo the Llama // Part I

Once upon a cloudy day, Lorenzo the Llama was feeling glum. This wasn’t unusual for Lorenzo. However it wasn’t common either.

IMG_0439

As he gloomily went about his day sitting in his worn out chair, at his battered office desk, typing on his computer, speaking to a limited amount of individuals, he thought. And thought. and he thought some more.

IMG_0444

Until all his  trains of thought were rudely and simultaneously derailed by his working companion, Percy the Plant.

IMG_0445

Slightly shocked by the fact that Percy said something (because he is a talking office plant) he only responded with a gaze of confusion, shock and maybe, just maybe a glimmer of hope…

IMG_0447

To be continued…

—————————————————————————————–

IMG_0451The Adventures of Lorenzo the Llama are written by Genoveve Zepeda. Photographs are by willi whiston.

Worship

I went on a missions trip to Belize last week. The following is a reflection about worship from the beginning of the week.

I’m sitting here in the Belizean hotel getting ready for tomorrow morning. Prepping set lists. Praying. Contemplating. Worrying about the last minute details. Will the powerpoints all work out? How will the sound be?

It’s not like we haven’t done this before. We’ve practiced. Played at churches. We are about as ready as we can be to lead the congregation of the Eagles Nest Baptist Church in worship tomorrow morning as we have every been. Later in the afternoon we’ll play kids songs for the children at the orphanage. Still a little worried on how that’s going to go. But, hey, it’ll be fun right?

Time to back up. Set the details aside. Put the focus where it’s due. What we do tomorrow is not as important as who we do it for. Whether we’re in a church or an orphanage, in front of friends or strangers, in Belize or Canada, our purpose tomorrow is simple.

To kneel down before our Father.

To give Him the praise that He is due. Not because he needs it, but because we know it pleases Him. It is a joyous affair to worship our creator.

We will join with Canadians, Belizians, and everyone in between in offering a humble offering of praise to a King who is most worthy of it.

// revelation 4

After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”

Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne. And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white robes; and they had crowns of gold on their heads. And from the throne proceeded lightnings, thunderings, and voices. Seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.

Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:

“Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”

Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:

“You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.”

Not Safe… but Good

 “Aslan is a lion- the Lion, the great Lion.” “Ooh” said Susan. “I’d thought he was a man. Is he-quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion”…”Safe?” said Mr Beaver …”Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

C.S. Lewis (The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe)

notsafebutgood

What the Church Has Right

I observed the church for a week. I saw enacted before me a vision of the community of believers as it was intended.

People gathered in their weakness. The church does not shy away from mistakes.

People believing even when it seems futile, and being rewarded! God is faithful.

The few who are deeply in love. Almost silent, easy not to notice, but they are the encourager, the faithful.

The struggling, who are silent but loved deeply.

The leaders whose vision is real, and are patient to see their dreams fulfilled. Inspired by Spirit.

The quiet but adventurous, building the kingdom.

The doubting, who still hold on to small strings of faith.

The passionate dreamers, inspired by the believers around them.

Would we work together to build the kingdom. To press on in love to spread the good message of the gospel. To simply love.

God is good. He works through his people. How humbling, how dangerous, but how wonderful.

Stinky Feet and Holy Ground

I’ve been running around a bit. Connecting cables, moving equipment. Responding as fast as I can to the question, “Can you give me a hand with this?” It’s not really stressful, but certainly busy. Being involved in ministry seems to be like that. I’ve been on my feet all day. I’ve been sweating a fair bit. Pretty gross. I think it’s genetics. But that’s not important. Point is, my feet stink.

But enough running around. Two o’clock has made its way to the present. Encounter is about to begin. My body shakes with some sort of unexplainable excitement. Something tells me that God is here.

Almost time to pick up my guitar. Sing some words into a microphone. Present an offering of praise. I hope my feeble attempt at worship will be pleasing to my King.

My thoughts turn to a portion of scripture from 1 John that has captivated me for the past week.

7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

How incredible. Not that I loved Him, but that He loved me. I could care less of the dude upstairs. But goodness, he sure cares about me. Am I worthy? Nope. Do I deserve it? Nope.

But he loves me.

He knows me.

I’m empowered. I’m compelled. I must make known this message of love. Probably by loving. That seems to be the message.

I look up to the ceiling of the sanctuary. I feel like I can almost see the spirit of God in a cloud of invisible beauty above me. God is here.

So I slip off my shoes. The faint odour of my stinky feet tingles my nose. I let my socks, damp from the sweat of the day, rest upon the green carpet. My humanness and his Holiness touch.

I now stand on Holy Ground.

I pull up my guitar, and lay my still shaking fingers on the metal strings. I’m ready to worship His majesty.

Not because I loved Him, but because, right from the start, He loved me.

Experiment VI: Fireworks

Although photographed during the New Year’s celebrations some time ago, I’ve finally got around to posting them. Perhaps it is appropriate to post pictures of celebration as we near Easter.

This is my first experience of photographing something so ominous with film; it was a strange feeling, snapping the shutter and hoping I had everything right to capture what I saw before me. In hindsight, a shorter shutter speed may have been a good idea. But, all in the name of the experiment… I think it turned out well.