Sunday, 6 September 2009

Finally, Sam Richards has come back, to Blogger!

It's the same story as it always is; I've been incredibly busy. Hence, no posts for a while. It's been my last week at work for the summer this week, which took up a fair bit of time. Also been doing some stuff at church, chairing the evening meeting and doing the talk at the youth club, both of which required some more time. All the other small details of life filled in the rest of the gaps.

Had a wonderful kick in the teeth on Friday. Rang the Student Loans Company cos I thought I'd lost my registration letter and needed another one; turns out I have no loan for next year! My local education authority used all the info I sent them to finalise my loan for last year. Why? I have no idea! But the fact of the matter is I have to reapply with all the slackers who've left it to the last minute. Should get my loan in time though, so no real harm done.

Went to Hillsong London today, which is a big church in the nation's capital that meets in The Dominion Theatre. It was my friend James' idea to go, as I happened to going down to London today for another work experience placement. Have a look at his blog, Duffy's Deliberations. We (James, my fiance Lauren, and myself) thought it would be cool to see what a big church is like, as we're all used to fairly small services.

There were quite a few subjects that my trip to Hillsong London caused me to ponder. I was kind of skeptical about how 'showy' the service would be. Sitting in the theatre before the start I could see all the lights, smoke and multimedia that was to be employed, and wasn't sure it was appropriate or if it would distract from focusing on God. However, I came to the decision that it would be ungrateful to God to have the blessing of a building like The Dominion, and not use its full capabilities. Also, it's all about your own heart. You can be distracted from focusing on God in the plainest and most mundane surroundings. I know personally that my imagination can be the biggest distraction for me, and it's for each individual to channel their attention, regardless of the surroundings.

The preacher at the service, Stovall Weems, the senior pastor at Celebration Church in Jacksonville, Florida, USA, brought up some interesting thoughts in his sermon on Mary the sister of Martha. His main point was how she sought happiness at the feet of Jesus, encouraging us to follow this example and be happy in God. Placing our happiness in our relationship with Christ is the best way to bring people to God, because happiness will overflow onto those we interact with, leading them to question how they can obtain that kind of joy. There were a lot of other things he said, and I haven't explained this as well as others could, but it stuck with me as something I should put into practice in my life.

Phew! That's a lot of writing for one night. Got a few reviews to come, as I saw Inglorious Basterds last week, and recently purchased Imogen Heap's new album, Ellipse. Will have them up shortly. Should do some fiction as well really, so I don't get rusty. That would be unforgivable!

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