26 September 2010

September 26

            This morning we had our first church service in London.  The Tube was out of commission, so we had worship service in the Organ’s flat (our professors).  The singing was actually really good today, and I loved the songs we picked out.  Dr. Organ’s lesson also really got me thinking.  He started off talking about how there’s an ongoing debate at several churches about how money should be used.  Many people have no problem using the money to fix up the church building when it’s needed, but others think that it’s not Biblical to do so.  Then he told us the story of this man hundreds of years ago who was painting the massive stained glass window at York Minster.  This window is as big as a tennis court…literally.   The man in the story was painting the very top window, but he was using the tiniest brush strokes imaginable in order to show as much detail as possible.  Another man was talking to him and asked him why he was bothering with the small details since no one would be able to see it.  The painter replied that God would be able to see it.  That really hit home with me…about doing your best for God even if He’s the only one that’s going to know about it.  There are so many massive, beautiful, and intricately decorated churches from hundreds of years ago that are so different from our church buildings now.  While many of those churches were quite possibly built because of the vanity of a church figure, like the clergyman or the pope or whoever, the people that actually worked on the church or donated money to the church’s construction were giving their all for God.  They were using their talents or giving their wealth to bring praise to God, while living in dirty hut-houses that were far less beautiful.  I’m doing a really bad job of explaining how this blew my mind a little, but it was a really good lesson.
            After church and lunch, Lauren, Mindy, Mary, Travis, Brad, and I all went on the Tube and went to Piccadilly Circus and Trafalgar Square, and several other places.  The coolest thing though was getting to see Big Ben for the first time!  Seeing Big Ben and Parliament and things of that nature is what really makes me realize that I’m in London, in a different country, overseas.  Unfortunately, it started to rain about then, so we headed back to our flat and got our umbrellas. 
            We reconvened to go get hot chocolate at a nearby café, and then we just walked around for a bit.  Our group kind of split off into different factions when half of the group decided to go back to the flat.  The group that I was in went off to walk around and find Brad a cheap watch.  This was easier said than done.  It took forever to find a place that sold watches at all.
            Later that night, we went to Wagamama’s for our group meal.  This is basically a noodle and rice bar, and it was fantastic.  I had been craving Chinese food since I left home, and while this was not exactly food that I was used to it did satisfy my craving temporarily.  I got teriyaki chicken and rice and it almost made me cry it was so good.  We had fun trying to eat with chopsticks, and I’m pretty sure I’m going back again soon.
            When we got back to our flat, I had a skype date with my family and got to talk to Brooke and Josh, some friends from Harding.  Even though I love the group I’m with and I’m getting closer to them all the time (figuratively and literally), it’s so great to talk to people that I’m really close to from home (and yes, I’m including Harding in that “home”). 
            Mindy and I were hanging out in our room, procrastinating reading for class and going to bed, and before we knew it everyone else was asleep and it was 1:00.  I think I see us as the crazy, outgoing, loud faction of our group, like the girls that live down the hall from you that never stop moving or never seem to sleep.  You know what I mean?  It’s kind of fun being “that girl” for a semester, because when I live in the real dorms that’s really not me at all.  It’s taken me so much less time to get in my element with this group of people than it did when I first moved into the dorms a little over a year ago, and I think that’s a very good thing.

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