02 February, 2009

Yay 2009!

The first month of 2009 has been full of God's grace! Allow me to recount his blessings, and please forgive my scattered recollections...

I spent the first few days of 2009 (and the last few days of 2008) in Akron, OH. I am seriously considering the possibility of God moving me to that city in order to glorify and enjoy him there. Nothing is wrong with where I am now, though. My heart sometimes fills with tension when I consider my future.

Speaking of my future, I've been applying for quite a few jobs since finishing college (I haven't graduated yet, but that's a long story...). No interviews. Huh. I'm tempted to doubt God's grace in this area, but he has provided for me in so many ways through so many times that reason demands I continue to daily place my faith in him. The struggle to trust him for a job in the right place has been oddly constant, but I'm learning more about perseverance. And I can't honestly say I'm uncomfortable about it. Learning about perseverance and faith in such pleasant circumstances is a surprise.

When I returned from my sojourn in Akron, I was privileged to sit under some amazing teaching at my local church. This message about fear brought about some particularly sweet times of repentance. I realized that I've been idolizing fencing, and trying to plan my future around my high school team at the expense of God's plans for me. As a result, I've been afraid of change, lest my idol fall. Because of Mr. Pierson's ministry, I've shifted my priorities into a more correct formation, and though the thought of leaving my team still makes me sad, I am willing to follow Christ joyfully, into whatever future he has planned for me.

Concerning fencing, my high school team is doing all right. Authority is a dangerous tool. I enjoy wielding it, but am constantly aware that I could be abusing it. A friend who fenced with me in high school returned to help coach for a few weeks before leaving to serve with the Marines. It was great to hang out with him, because his Senior year of high school was fraught with troubles, some of his own doing and some of divine intervention. Since joining the Marines, he has regained control over his life, and redeemed his time in the military well. When he finishes, he hopes to come help me coach again. I hope so! I am praying fervently that he gives authority of his life to God, who helped him conquer drugs and addictive habits. What a sweet thing that would be. His situation gives me hope for some who are currently in the fencing program.

And also, soon I will be able to say that I competed as a collegiate fencer. Next weekend I am headed East to participate in a large fencing tournament for college fencing clubs. I'm so excited! I hope I am able to keep my scheming mind calm enough to compete well and also be a witness to those who are in the darkness. I suspect I am the only Christian going on this trip, and there will be many opportunities to display my hope in Christ.

I'm also able to say that I've been ice climbing and mountaineering :-) I spent approximately 24 hours with a family in my church, and what fun we had! It actually was more than 24 hours, if one counts the service we rendered to the church as part of the Tech team. After church, a lot of people went sledding, which provided me an opportunity to ask Mr. C about ice climbing. He had tentative plans to go the next day, and invited me. The family was kind enough to share dinner and give me a place to sleep until we departed at 6 AM. We climbed and mountaineered for most of the day, and finished with a trip to Sheetz. Dinner followed at their home, then I went to my house to recuperate. I was bruised and beaten and inspired. I can't thank them enough for 1) planning the trip, 2) coming on the trip, or 3) staying home and caring for the rest of the family while the crazy people went climbing. I love climbing. It's the best (and safest) adrenaline rush I've experienced so far :-) Here are photos, if you're interested.

And I'm happy to say I've done all this without missing a high school fencing practice :-) Though my attendance at college practices have been lax...

Random: I'm developing a taste for coffee. Odd!


The Stranger said...

Yes, I am satisfied.


Jason said...

RE: coffee

Not so random or odd, but terrible. It easily seems to become a money-sucking addiction!

Oh well, enjoy it moderation.

Laedelas Greenleaf said...

Ah, are you anti-coffee? I was, until recently...and I still am, to some sense. I hate chemical addictions, and have avoided them to extreme costs, even if an addiction could mean normal sleeping habits. Most coffee drinkers seem to be addicted.

My "taste for coffee" basically means I can partake of a social convention without gagging (most of the time). I do not plan to spend every morning at Starbucks, and if I do, feel free to show me my error!