:one week in:

so we've been here in Vancouver for just over a week, and time has really slowed down. maybe it's due to the absolute opposite in lifestyle, maybe it's due to me not having to work out here, maybe it's due to not really being plugged into a church... but whatever the case, I feel like I've been here for a month already, and it's a good thing.

I've done many things here with janice, but one of the most eye-opening and thought provoking is that I attended Janice's old church summer conference. it was intense in the fact that I've only ever really experienced 2 churches in my life, The Vine and Hillsong. that's it really. I've come to realise that The Vine is one of the craziest, passionate, driven churches out there... another thing I've come to know is that...well..

not every church is like that.

while Canada has an amazing lifestyle, amazing weather, amazing food... spiritually, from what I've been experiencing, is something that I can't sum up any easier than: comfortable. it's not a bad thing, and I don't look down on anyone here, but I've come to know that how one 'follows Christ' is interpreted differently out here.

for me, there was a time in my life where Christ was all I had. overcoming a drug addiction, expelled from university, being torn away from all my friends in the states all lead to me eventually opening up my heart to receive Jesus, and then actually depending on Him for new life. the life that He so boldly proclaims was mine to have in the bible once receiving Him. out here, the people I've met here, the CHINESE people, don't do that. they have great families, go to school, get a good degree, and then get a great job... there's really no need to depend on Christ... what for? they have everything they need! they present-day equivalent to the white picket fence style of life.

I mean, that's why some families move out here. to get away from the stress that a city like Hong Kong imposes on you. sometimes people DON'T want to rub shoulders with people who are demanding, with social outcasts, with 'needy' people. to me, that's the life that I love... I look at oneighty and the Vine and I know that we're just full of that type... of course, I have a bit of prejudice because I was, and I'm still one of them.

I'm not saying that there's no fire here in Vancouver. I'm not saying that there's any cutting edge spirit filled churches out here. I've only seen people from 3 churches here in Vancouver, all of them predominantly Chinese... and in all of them there's such an uphill battle that none of them really see or understand because this is their culture. this is how it is.

it's comfort.

I never knew just how amazingly powerful the effect of comfort can be. you see, so many people I've come to love and call family over the last 6 years have anything but comfort. I guess that's because I've never really known comfort, it's been a slap in fact just how much comfort can impact someone spiritually. I would say that it can be summed up like this:

I'm used to sayings like, "Even though everything is not alright, it is Christ who defines me and through Him I will overcome, through Him I will conquer!" what I've been kind of hearing over here is, "Everything is going great, I've bought that new flat, I've got a great job, and it's just great. Oh, and I'm christian as well."

when there's comfort to the extreme, when everything is dandy... is there really a need for Christ? the wife, the job, the new apartment, the car... if all of these things are there and are not in jeopardy, then what IS the need for Christ.

I woke up this morning asking myself just that question. I need Christ because I'm on a mission with my wife to change the world through the young adults in Hong Kong. Plain and simple. when you undertake a mission like that, you NEED the power of the risen Christ otherwise it'll never come to pass. I have a over-arching life goal to have a world-impacting discipleship ministry. in that light, I can't settle for a 9-5 and then have christ added on to the end of my week on the sunday...

it says in the bible that the only way i'll GAIN my life, is to LOSE it for the Gospel, otherwise i'll be hanging on to it too much, and Jesus says i'll lose it.

I'm loving my time here to recharge, to regain passion, to love what God has given me and Janice in Hong Kong. only by spending time away can all the blessings of Hong Kong be truly appreciated. So as I'm in my 2nd week, I look forward to spending more time here expanding my spiritual horizon, and my ever-growing waistline... but I do so with the utmost joy of knowing that Christ is anything but an option, anything but an add-on to my or Janice's life.

He IS our life.


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