Friday, 21 October 2005

Mid-term Break and Other Things

"Let all our employment be to know God; the more one knows Him, the more one desires to know Him."~Brother Lawrence

Dear all,

I don't have a huge amount to say this time (I think :))...

I'm learning so much it's making my head hurt-- to be very blunt and un-eloquent : ) I have my Doctrine of God class on Fridays and I feel like it's basically taking all the gray areas of the theology of my faith and blowing them up and completely out of proportion. But, it's good for me. Today I was confronted with Theistic Evolution, Divine Determinism, Synergism, and Emanationism. Don't ask me to explain them because I'm afraid it's all a bit foggy right now. Things will come into a bit sharper focus when I go to write the essay : ) Throughout the lecture, I was left with the words of Apostle Paul reverberating in my mind, "May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..." I've come to the conclusion that I'm going to take these philosophical thoughts on-board because I'm here and I have the chance to learn, but in the end and even while learning, the true issue remains the same-- The cross of Jesus. I would ask for prayer that that main focus doesn't get lost in exploring all these "gray", philosophical areas.

I leave on mid-term break tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it. My friend Marge has invited me home so I'll be spending the week in Hastings with her and her parents : ) Hastings is on the south-east coast of England, in Sussex, and is famous, for you history buffs out there, for the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Marge has promised me my first "Cream Tea", which is a very traditional British way of taking tea with a scone covered in cream. Apparently there is a lovely tea shop nearby that does a good cream tea : ) We also plan a long walk through a nearby holiday park where we can climb a hill that looks over the whole city and out into the sea. We hope to possibly cross the British Channel into France for an afternoon (can you imagine that?!). Besides all that, I'll be meeting alot of British people Marge has talked about for the 6 weeks I've known her, learning to cook alot of British food, and attempting to finish Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility with my free time : ) We hope to leave thoughts of schoolwork behind and spend lazy evenings watching girly British movies : ) It ought to be lovely.

He taught me again this week of how deeply I need my quiet times with Him-- times above and beyond my daily devotions to keep my heart and mind stayed on Him. I would encourage you to take the time to just get away with Him and pray and reflect. I stole away Wednesday afternoon to trip down to the cathedral (again) and I just sat there within those thick, cold walls of stone watching the rain pour down in my little courtyard outside the cloisters. Steps echoed down the cloister's corridors as people walked past me tucked into a corner with The Word and a beloved book from the 17th century ("The Practice of the Presence of God") by a French monk called Brother Lawrence-- someone who knew the atmosphere of a cloister very well. I would entreat you to steal away such precious moments to focus your everything on seeking His face, for the sake of being with Him and for no other reason but Him. It resets my perceptions ("Let us think often that our only business is to please God, and that all besides is but folly and vanity."-- Brother Lawrence) and resets my heart on "things above". Amy Carmichael once wrote, "We are what we think about," --and I can't help but agree-- "Think about trivial things or weak things and somehow one loses fibre and becomes flabby in spirit..." Like Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8, "Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-- dwell on such things." Because, in the end, He's the only thing in life that matters...

Today, I love England. And I love that no matter where I go, He has me right where I ought to be.

Seek hard!
Leah <><

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