Monday, 28 October 2013

The Work Of God in Cyprus.. What you must know

Interview with Pastor and Mrs. Swanson

The Swanson Family (Mrs. Daphne Swanson and Pastor Andrew Swanson second row first and second from the left)
Mwansa: Firstly a brief background on yourself, family and basically how you came to Cyprus?
Pastor Andrew Swanson: I was in the Air Force and I was posted to, I had just become a believer, and I was posted at Akrotiri which is down at the bottom of the island. And I worked with Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots and I started to go and get involved in the local church in Limassol which was a kind of brethren assembly mostly and they were very keen to reach out to the Greeks and there were quite a few Armenia’s who were working there as well, so right from the word go I felt the Turkish were quite marginalized and I believed that ultimately God might one day bring me back to work among them. And in fact originally my thought was I would come out of the Air Force, I was on a five year contract, I’d go to bible college and I’d come straight out once that happened. Well it didn’t work that way at all, and it was a good thing it didn’t. Well at the end of my first year, very unusually, I was asked to do a student pastorate up in Darlington, because normally they would not do student pastorates for third year students and I was a second year student. Anyway, this third year student who was going to do it was called to a church so I was sent in his place and, I mean spiritually I fell in love with the church and the church fell in love with me. So a year later, when I went into my third year and got married and my wife was teaching in a school near to where the college was but while, at the wedding in fact, one of the, we had a number of people from Darlington down for the wedding and one of the deacons came up to us and said “You will be getting in the course a call to the church, in which we would like you to come once you’ve finished college”. I was not at all surprised, just thrilled. So we went there at the end of my third year and almost my ordination coincided with James’ arrival (that is their son, now also a Pastor of the church). And we were very happy in Darlington for thirteen years with the church, we loved the church and the church loved us but by about eight years into my thirteen years, we were beginning to realize that God did not want us back here and I went to turkey for a while, well more like three weeks, just to see what the situation was like. And among other things I got Hepatitis as a result and so the church were very hesitant about me going out but they said, maybe Cyprus would be better and that’s what we wanted anyway. And we came out on a fact finding, at least I went out with the same guy again, and we came over for a week and during that time we found out that it was possible for us to come out here and we went back to the church. We asked the church to pray, we were perfectly prepared to take the church’s decision and in fact I think it was three abstentions, all the rest were saying we don’t want you to go but we feel you should go. And so we went out sent by the church.
Mrs. Daphne Swanson: That was in 1985
Pastor Andrew Swanson: Yes. And the Church has been absolutely brilliant. Everything we could wish for, I mean the church could not completely support us but they were in charge of our support and other churches joined in. And that’s how it begun
Mrs. Daphne Swanson: But at that time, the scene in Cyprus was, there was basically just the one Anglican Church serving the small community and nothing else at all. So we met as just the six, the four children and ourselves, every Sunday. Later on various other people joined us. Once or twice there were people who were turned out of Turkey. They came over to Cyprus and were here for a couple of months or years but none of them were able to be here long term. Some were actually thrown out because they were doing evangelistic work, others were not getting their residence permit renewed so they had to leave. But in Gods providence we stayed
Pastor Andrew: And then we had another couple come join us from a church in Lancaster and they were absolutely brilliant. They were slightly older than us, he’d taken early retirement and he was, they both were, lovely. He had to return because of a health problem, a heart problem in fact, and we could never understand that and it really affected the church greatly because we were really beginning to go somewhere at that time in terms of the Turkish part, well it was all Turkish. That was a huge loss, and now we have James and Rachel.
Mwansa: What challenges have you faced in your twenty eight odd years in Cyprus?
Pastor Andrew Swanson: I think for a long time the thing that I just could not comprehend was why I couldn’t get Turkish because I really did work hard. It was blood toil and sweat and little bit more blood as well. This one time I was so frustrated, I had this pencil in my hand and I slammed it on the table. It wasn’t my blood it was her blood. And really up until five years ago I could not comprehend why everyone else in the family, I mean, my eldest daughter, she went to Cambridge, and she did Turkish as her main subject and Ottoman Turkish. Daniel is more or less, well he was, I would say bilingual and Joanne was nearly there as well and I was the only one who couldn’t. And that would get to me at times because the Turks are not very…
Mrs. Daphne Swanson: Tactful
Pastor Andrew Swanson: Yes, Tactful. They would keep on saying “Why is it, everyone can speak such good Turkish and you can’t? Are you lazy?” Anyway, that was probably one of them. And then, I think, when we decided to go more public and find a place and that really was a challenge. We began to think we are never going to get a place. We couldn’t afford it and there really were very few people in all honesty who would even consider that.
Mrs. Daphne Swanson: Even five years ago Turkish Cypriots were afraid to rent property to someone who wanted to use it for Christian worship. Now that has changed hugely in the five years which is largely because of all the African students who are here and they are just getting more used to the idea but five years ago, it was so difficult. The first property was interesting, we saw something advertised in the newspaper. Almost didn’t bother to telephone because they said it’s a good area of town because it’s bound to be too expensive. Phoned and discovered it was a reasonable price. So I went with one of the Turkish ladies because we weren’t very optimistic so Andrew didn’t even come. And we saw this very nice property. Anyway we said to the landlady, we want it for Christian worship and she said “Oh… it’s no problem, I have lived in America, I’m used to these things, it’s fine.” And then we said “It’s a very nice building but we’d need to knock walls down” assuming the land lady was not going to think kindly towards that. Then she said “No problem as long as you give it back to me in the same way that I gave it to you.” And so it was just so obvious that God was knocking down walls.
Pastor Swanson preaching in the former building

Pastor Andrew Swanson: And although it was a small, much smaller place. It was home, it was lovely. We loved that place. I found it quite hard to leave.

Mrs. Daphne Swanson: Talking of challenges, I think one of the biggest challenges is that the Turkish Cypriots themselves are almost completely irreligious and they are very content to be irreligious. So they don’t practice Islam, they have a vague idea of God and they have a vague idea of prayer. But they do seem to be a people without a felt spiritual need apart from all the new age stuff, like candles and angels and healing hands and all kinds of stuff like that but they don’t seem to have any desire for being close to God or knowing God or a sense of sin. They’re just quite content to being irreligious really. So that is a challenge that we are still wanting God to deal with, in convincing them of sin.

Mwansa: What has encouraged you about the work in Cyprus, I’m sure quite a bit must have gone wrong but what are the things that have made you say yes, this is why we are here.

Mrs. Daphne Swanson: I think, I don’t know anything about mining diamonds, but I imagine if you’re mining for diamonds in a really hard field, there is a lot of hard work. Then you come across one diamond and it makes everything worthwhile. So the very few Turkish people who have come to Christ, and these are mainland Turks as opposed to Cypriots, the very few who have come to Christ, it’s been worth the effort, even just for the few. The diamonds for whom Christ had died, coming to him. That’s my take.

Pastor Andrew Swanson: And I think also, we have been tremendously encouraged since we have all these African students, now a huge lot of the Nigerians, I would say, are just nominal but among them we have come across some really fine believers and we’ve also seen a number of catholic Nigerians being converted which has thrilled us really. It’s almost sort of come out in ways that we didn’t know. At a prayer meeting, James was asking and a student spoke of her conversion and we didn’t even know..

Mrs. Daphne Swanson: Yeah, she was just about to go back, she’d graduated and James asked the two or three who were graduating “What have you learnt while you have been in Cyprus?” and basically she said well I’ve come to a knowledge of Jesus as my savior, not in those words, but that is what she was saying

Pastor Andrew Swanson: And we still here from her every time to time. I think as well, that my take on Nigeria, My son in law actually goes to Nigeria sometimes to help, he does pastoral training and he says the same. There’s nothing hardly of a reformed nature at all, it’s very thin on the ground, quite superficial and if we can be a means of sending people back, not just with their degrees but if they can go back with degrees and they go back, gripped with the glory of God and a knowledge of the sovereignty of God, that would be a tremendous thing. And we’ve seen that with some of them. And I mean, I think we’ve got to the point where it’s almost, we almost have to put the brakes on with church membership because, I mean, we obviously want, we are very happy to have everyone who is a believer and who is willing to put up with the way we run things but it’s certainly much more than we ever envisioned before.

Mrs. Daphne Swanson: Another thing that I find encouraging and still amazing is that, One hundred and fifty people, most of whom are used to a very different style of worship and now there are places offering different styles of worship, in Lefkoşa. They come to our very traditional service where basically what is on offer is the preaching of the gospel and Christian love and one hundred and fifty people more or less come every Sunday. So may God bless them.

Pastor Andrew Swanson: I’m so thrilled with the actual building we have got because we did a lot of praying and deliberating and you begin to wonder, in fact the church that James is involved in, to us they were just moving very, very slowly and we were thinking “why don’t you do something”, in fact we did send them a letter. Anyway it’s all come to pass. I don’t think you really thought it would be as lovely as this?

Mrs. Daphne Swanson: No I think, seeing it finished, we did not envisage just how suitable and ideal it was going to be.

Mwansa: The next question is similar but gives a different angle. What would you say you thank God for, what are the praise Items?

Pastor Andrew Swanson: I think, I have to say first and foremost I have to thank God for my family, they have absolutely been with us and you can imagine how difficult our work here would have been if our children were rebellious or they weren’t happy. I would say the same thing has happened with James and his children, which I think is a tremendous blessing.

Mrs. Daphne Swanson: Another along those lines, I thank God that his raised up our son as a preacher. You know there are people who are in the pulpit but not necessarily really gifted as preachers and you see that this is not from him it’s just a gift that is from the Lord that he is able to expound Gods word in a way that gets across to people which is a huge reason for thanksgiving.

Pastor Andrew Swanson: And having a church behind us and not just a church but churches and people praying. Because we would go to churches and they would ask us about people we’ve forgotten about. They are still praying about all the details of our prayer letters and that is just tremendous. I think the one thing I felt from the word go is that I had to take to time to make sure that people knew the situation and our letters were very honest. We did not say things were very good when they weren’t and I think that has certainly helped with the support.

Mwansa: And lastly what would you like the people out there to pray for

Pastor Andrew Swanson: Well I think the huge need is to see the Lord touch the Turkish Cypriots. I mean I still see that as what God sent us for originally, it hasn’t worked that way and probably we personally might not see it but I think my son will and I think one of the interesting things about James is the fact that he has to tent make. He’s meeting a strata of the Turkish society that we never met, that is the middle class.

Mrs. Daphne Swanson: Middle stroke upper-class really

Pastor Andrew Swanson: Upper-class yeah. And I think as well with being involved in the bank he comes across all kinds of people and the ideal to me is a church that is made up of all the strata of society so while we have been up to this point in time, especially with the Turkish side have been predominantly poor and we thank God that the poor have the gospel preached to them. But we would like to see some rich, some learned come to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Mwansa: Thank you for your time and your contribution.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

It’s Your Country’s Independence Day, So What!

This question has been weighing on my mind since my first rebellious thoughts started springing. For those who are over thinking my thought process, this is a very valid question. Reason being, what has the celebration got to do with me? How much does it affect me? What is expected of me on such a day or because of such an event? What is relevant for me to know in order to appreciate this day? In my experience which is not as much as that of a fifty year old man but is decent in itself, most young people see October 24th, Zambia’s day of Independence, as a day to get off school. Apart from that no real relevance. As I came to realize this kind of thinking is not on just wrong but is potentially destructive.
Firstly, what has the Independence Day mean to me? We may not realize or appreciate it but out freedom was fought for. Blood, sweat and tears were thrown into the freedoms we take for granted. The least we can do is remember and acknowledge the contribution of the many who fought for this and I don’t just mean the ones who made it into power post-independence, there are many more. If it means you picking up a book that you last used five years ago then so be it. And that’s just the least. No other day affords you the opportunity to really look at your country for what it is, what it can be and what it should be. Thanks to the internet there are all kinds of fora through which you can get such information but on that day there are links everywhere, television shows nothing else, radios says nothing else and those who are strongly remember can speak of nothing else. Independence Day has a lot to do with you.

we walk away, ignoring what must be pondered
Secondly, how does it affect you and me? This is a day that affords you the opportunity to see the best of your country, this does not happen all the time and at all hours of the day but I will take a stab in the dark and say for most of it. It allows you to see the spirit that makes your country and though sociologists world over say we are losing our cultural personality, Independence Day will show you that this is not the case all the time. You will be able to see that your country is not just the people but also the land. It will make you look on the person next to you as your brother or sister, things might change the following day but if you can keep that feeling going we will see a much better country. It will make you want the best for not only yourself but for the people around you. I mean why should you live in plenty when those around you are suffering. Why would you let those around you live lives that are destroying the place and land that you love, with idle use and/or littering, when it is in your power to talk to them and help them see reason. Independence Day gives us the opportunity to see the people as a unit not isolated individuals.
Thirdly, what is expected of you? On such a day it is very important to ask yourself this question. If you were to go on living like normal then the day would not be a national holiday or better yet the most important national holiday. This is the day to consider what it means for you to be whatever nationality you are. Zambians have a different nationality from Zimbabweans even though we have no physical boundary dividing our lands and were once one nation. This question will allow us to continue to develop our own identity and not get too sucked into the global village phenomena. The global village phenomena strictly speaking is a couple of dominant cultures getting impressed on us. Cultures do evolve but the core values must be maintained because that is who we are. Being at an international university has taught me that people are different, sometimes you can tell which country a person is from by the way the carry themselves, act and dress. Even before the person says a word and that is the power of culture that is what must be maintained. And it comes as a result of asking that question.
cultural diversity is great, appreciate others but don't lose yours

Fourthly, what is relevant for me to know? It is necessary that culture is built on knowledge. Without knowledge prejudice and enmity reign, and very few things are sadder than prejudice and enmity among countrymen. It is necessary to know what was fought against for Independence, who did the fighting, what turned the tide that brought about the movement, etc. All this knowledge will result in us seeing that the people who achieved what we now look on with indifference were people just like you and me, people from all walks of life, people from all the tribes and languages no just the one. It makes us realize that no one is inferior and that in that moment the nation was one. Such a view will inspire us to see such a thing again.
The reason why all this is important is that it beats the alternative. The alternative is a nation in a state of moral decay, a nation where the youth show little or no respect to the adults, a nation full of the head strong and the ignorant, a nation of those who only seek their own good ignoring all outside of their doorstep. Am I the only one who sees that I am describing the state of things, if not now then not long from now. This is something to fear rather than something to shrug off. Moral decay is not over there, it’s here and it’s here and we need to fight it. This fight is similar to fight for independence because just like in that fight we need each other. Unfortunately the answer to the problem is not one that I have or is in a book, it is a working answer, different from one group to the next. What I do know is that there is an answer, we just need the diligence to find it.
It maybe three days late but I will say it anyway. Happy Independence Day. This is my tribute…

Monday, 14 October 2013

Could Have Been A Birthday Post

I read the book instead of moving
I was really tempted to do a birthday post, really tempted. Tempted to write about my thoughts and feelings over the turn of the year for me but I’ll pass on that. I have decided to pass on that because of a more pending issue. An issue that I figure has greater importance than my turn of the year. A week or so ago a friend of mine dropped a book on my table and asked me to read it. I blatantly denied the suggestion like I always would to anything he would suggest unless it involved food or coke, I love food and coke by the way. I really love coca cola. Anyway, I figure he expected the reaction so he left the book and went about his business. For the next couple of days he would ask me almost every day like clockwork if I had read the book yet. I felt like lying but I was decent enough to tell him the truth and say no. He was like the woman who wanted justice and I was the unjust judge, except I was more reasonable, I think…

Yesterday I figured I should start reading the book so I could get him off my back. So carried the book with me to church, not to read it in church, my days of doing that are long over. The bus ride to church is forty minutes to and twenty minutes back. So I carried it, somehow or other my roommate and I were almost late to catch the bus. So what started off as a light jog turned into a race and I got my Usain Bolt on and won. I arrived in the bus and started reading. The book blew me away. Easy to follow and rich with biblical truths that cut right to the heart. The name of the book is “Your Own Jesus” by Mark Hall of Casting Crowns. I started it and as we reached the church stop I was already twenty pages into the book and I didn’t feel it. Somehow, by God’s grace I managed to concentrate in church. On the bus back from church I opened it again and thirty pages passed by between then and the time I sat down for lunch. Now yes I am a fast reader but I give the book the vast majority of the credit. It is baby simple but rich. Basically I tore through the book, except for the evening service and dinner I was right in there and by 11pm I was done.

I actually didn't read the cover till now

The book left me in a place of awe over my relationship with God. Over where it was, where it could be and where it should be. I was ready to kneel in awe and worship of the God I serve. By now you want to know what the book was about I can imagine so I will do my level best to say enough but not too much so you can try to track it down yourself and dig in. it is a devotional book, relying a lot on personal reflection as you go through it. It starts by explaining the slow fade, and yes he regularly uses tittles of his songs. It actually makes you understand the heart behind the pen and the message of them. It speaks of how the gradual change in one direction, that is one straying from God, naturally should mean there is a slow and hard return. It is not something that happens in the blink of an eye and requires diligence. He also speaks over how it is that God frees us of our sin as far as the east is from the west. This does not mean that we have no remaining sin but how that once he forgives us it is once and for all. We tend to reflect our human understanding and logic on God, in that we expect God to get fed up of forgiving because even the most loving parent would get tired at some point. God is not like this, human logic does not apply to him. He throws your sin away as far as the east is from the west. He says, one of the reasons God does not use north and south is because if you went north on earth at some point you will find yourself in the south but you can never go so far east that you end up in the west, it just keeps on going and personally I find that great.

The last lesson I leave you with is how that a lot of people expect a prayer to fix all your problems and you will return to the relationship you had with God before your one or many sins that took you away from him. It takes a lot of work and prayer. Personal effort. We would never grow in grace if God simply pulled us out of our problems. Our experiences make us who we are and make us better instruments for his use so we should work hard to return to our relationship with God but accept that all that happens to us is with his power and plan and is for our good.

 Expect to sweat and fall, the road is hard

All in all I highly recommend the book, not that I’m a guru on which books to read, but if the book falls on your head on a cloudy day. Don’t panic, pick it up and read it. Also, that nagging guy who you know just might bring you a diamond once every blue moon

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Two Horrible Days and the "Why" Question

Two Horrible Days and the “Why” Question

The past two days have not been the highest points in my life. That’s is actually putting it mildly, it was another test in the "trust God or dive head first into the crashing waves" scenario. I’m not yet through it but I think I have chosen the former.

It all started with my plan for the semester. I do a bit of creative writing that turns itself into poetry, scripts and random thoughts. So I decided to focus all that and use the gifts that I have been given in whatever avenue I could find. The first plan was to shoot a short film every weekend or two, so I pulled out an idea I had been toying around with for the past two months, turned it into a mini script, found me some actors and a camera man to boot. I figured that would be my only big project, apart from school work of course, for the next two weeks when I got wind of the Zambian independence celebration and another idea hit me. It hit me during lunch and I was so psyched I completely abandoned lunch to put my idea in recorded form so I wouldn’t lose it. I don’t write things down that much, it requires a mind that is able to stick to one chain of thought for a decent period of time, my mind is not like that, so I record my thoughts then write it down after listening to it and weeding out the wheat from the weeds as it were. Anyway I went to the organizers and they were more than happy for me to jump on board.

I jumped head first into it and got the people I needed to help out, those I could not reach I asked people to reach and I figured we would be all set by the day and time of the shoot. A few things to note, all the people involved were volunteers, which is a problem of its own but I will get to that later. Secondly the time until the shoot was a little under 48 hours. The first hit of bad news came when I called one of the actors in project one, strictly speaking one of the two actors and, and he was going through a couple of issues of his own and so we had to cancel rehearsal. From previous experience I have learnt if you miss the rehearsal before the day of the shoot just cancel the shoot. It’s not worth the disappointment. So I cancelled project one, it was not easy, I was really ready for that one and was really looking forward to putting in a decent shift. So I began to focus on project two, and in order to vent the pent up tension. I did my level best, even worked on flash cards and not just the pen on workbook flash cards, I put in a shift.

Enter problem number two. The camera man showed up on time but without the memory card, after a couple of minutes that felt like and hour we found a memory card only to come back and find out that the camera was flat and would not turn on. Let me mention now that this is not the rant of an angry man and you will see this at the end, for those who think it a rant, skip to the final paragraph. Anyway, we somehow managed to find us a camera and went on location. Apart from those who moved with me everyone else was late. So we made calls and heard stories ranging from I’m on my way to I’m coming down the stairs right now. This is actually quite comical in hindsight. So the first group arrive and I figure we can start with just them, there were supposed to be four groups by the way. So we start, this was almost 20 minutes passed the time we should have started and the sun was no longer were I needed it to be so we made adjustments and soldiered on. A lot of drama happened along the way but I will skip that. We managed to get something on tape, but it was not enough and this was only with the first group, the second, third and fourth had not yet fully arrived. Only the occasional one in most cases none. We even pulled a passer-by or two off the street just to try something but before we could get into position, camera two went flat. And I mean flat, deader than a door nail flat..

We cancelled the shoot and are trying to organize another. As I went back to my room I figured I had enough material to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat. I could sugar coat this, in actual fact I cant.. There was no rabbit pulling that day. And everyone seemed satisfied and jolly except me which for those of you who have felt disappointment tends to happen nine out of ten times. I was in a slump till I fell asleep. And the sleep was not all that restful, I'll tell you that.

The new morning brought with it time to go over my recorded ideas, the footage from the previous day and conversations with people who had the capability to encourage. To say the least, his blessings really are new every morning. Out of all that I came out with this… Why was I doing all that I was doing? Was it some form of self-gratification? Was it a chance for me to do something and have people look at it and praise me? Or was it to produce something that would please my father in heaven, the people who asked me to do it, the target audience and myself, in that order. The latter seemed like a more convenient answer. The reality was it was not MY video shoot that did not happen it was THE video shoot that did not happen. I was making something personal that was not even about me. If I kept my eyes on the goal which was to produce something that pleases the four parties mentioned above in their specific order, I would have been able to pick myself up and walk on with my chin up despite the state of my clothes. Unfortunately this is a very hard lesson to learn and it is likely I might have this problem again, hopefully this will help me out then. The good news is the horrible two days are over, who knows what will happen next..

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

I Finally Believe Global Warming!


I Finally Believe Global Warming!

Yeah… Some of you should be thinking where has he been? Well I have been around, I just never subscribed to the idea that the earth is getting hotter and would eventually reach a point where it was too hot for humans to survive. Another thought was, I won’t be around for the worst of it so let me just wing it. Today’s lesson blew all that kind of thinking out of the water.
The lesson was in a class called Building Physics, which has very little to do with physics, thank God. Anyway the class begun at 8am and because of a productive spree last night I arrived in class just before 9am. Just in case the powers that be are reading this we will leave the explanation for my lateness as a productive spree. Anyway I arrive in class and the lecturer is speaking about diseases associated with being in buildings, I won’t go into that as most of you would not want to relieve that section of the class. Then it got interesting, but to explain this I have to go back a little further to my summer vacation. I was having a chat with my Uncle, a practicing architect in South Africa and he was explaining why certain materials have to undergo certain process before they can be used in the construction process. This is not what we would spend hours every day talking about by the way, that would just be weird. He mentioned how Architecture goes against the environment. The architect designs something that is unnatural to the eco system or environment and strictly speaking the environment fights back and it is that fighting back that we must reduce and if possible prevent. This struck some chord in me but was silent up until the point in the lecture that we left off at. That we might not just be fighting the earth, we might actually be killing it!

The lecturer, who really was a lecturess, spoke about how much energy is used in the entire process of a buildings life cycle. All the way from design by the architect, through construction, use and right down to demolition. She explained at length how much garbage is used up by a person per year and how all these factors in terms of building construction and use affect the environment. Now all this I knew as do most of you and some might be losing interest at this point so I will get to the part that caught me. It was that we will never be able to get the pollution level to zero, we can just reduce it. We will always be killing the planet, in short just as a human has a life span and will eventually die, so does the planet. As long as we are on the planet the planet too will die. Now don’t worry I am not suggesting we are completely to blame. Neither am I suggesting we conduct a mass suicide in order to save the planet, that’s stupid. Why save a planet if no one will enjoy it. I am also not suggesting we find another planet, though a zero gravity life on the moon would not be that bad an idea. What I am trying to bring forward is what I think the real problem is.
I was initially shocked that all the scientists who are all about global warming have not yet seen that there is a God somewhere but then I remembered the age old lesson, the heart is sinful and deceitful… …who can understand it. Everything really is corrupted, even the earth. The beautiful planet is dying and as noble as it is to try slow down the inevitable is it not more prudent to think on the life that will expire before the planet, i.e. yours and mine. All these thoughts hit me mid lecture and I could not shake it off the whole day, it still sobers me up even now, over 12 hours later. The point is, sin is here, not forever but it is here and its destructive powers continue to wreak havoc. We can’t just go back to living in caves, we are passed that, we do what we can to live on and that sometimes involves building ridiculously shaped buildings that will continue to fight against the earth but we must keep in mind that this is not it, everything will come to end when God comes to judge for what we have done with the life and time we have been given.

The lesson I learned today, was this. Do my best to reduce the rate at which the planet dies so the next generation actually has something decent to look at, not something out of a really weird movie. And don’t put all my hope and faith in this life, because even if I live to be a million, the earth might be dead long before I get there

Monday, 7 October 2013

The question isn’t why, The question is what

The question isn’t why, The question is what

The thought to start a blog has been solid in my mind for a while now and the delay was caused by my debate on the “why” question. Then after a conversation with my dad that I thought will be longer it hit me that the question is not “why” but “what”. I will explain. I can actually explain stuff that I think now since it is a blog post instead of a Facebook status or tweet. Anyway, the product of the brief discussion with my father was that the question of “why” or “why not” would be around forever but if I could answer the big question of “what” I write would be about and the answer is solid then I am really on to something. And quite frankly there is a quite a bit that I want to write. The next big question was “what” would be the purpose or direction, after all setting off on a journey and not knowing the direction would be pretty stupid and whereas I tend to be known for the more than occasional stupid idea, this I hope is not one of them. So after much thought and much prayer, I just had to pray for direction it was as obvious as it is to look at a map for journey purposes, it hit me. Where am I? In Cyprus. Doing “what”? Studying. Apart from the odd Facebook post and tweet here and there “what” do people know about the life of a Christian, in this case me, studying in North Cyprus? Almost nothing. So… how about I write on my journey in Cyprus. The idea was not half bad if I do say so myself. So this is it. As for “what” I will write, I will write on a couple of events here and there. Things that happen on campus and in class through my eyes, of course. Random thoughts, because I do have quite a number of those. The odd interview with interesting characters, I am at an international universities with over forty different nationalities in one place. The number of interesting character types is borderline ridiculous and this just needs to be shared. As this is the first of quite a few posts and I don’t want people to think I go on and on and on and on I will end with a clarification. Anyone familiar with Richard Belcher’s Journey series might be inclined to think this is similar. ITS NOT. For a few reasons, I would like to be smart and say three or five like a typical Calvinist but in reality I don’t know right now but my fingers will move till I have no point left in my head. I have poor organization skills. Anyway, firstly I am not as good as Mr. Belcher and gave up trying in that field. Secondly, whereas this might have spiritual gleanings into factors of life surround my situation/s it will not be solely that. Thirdly, I have no idea how to do the cover page art for the journeys and a journey without the cover page would just be awkward. Fifthly I see myself as more of a Dink character and imagine the chaos if Dink were given a whole journey series. I will leave the mistake as it is because most likely it won’t be the last so you might as well get used to it now. Now we just hope and pray the journey will be enlightening for all, especially me