:7 days in:

[i wrote this on friday so it's a bit dated, but it was a good reflection of where i was over the weekend]

I'm in love with Jazz music all over again. Thanks to alison my bank of double bass and free-flowing piano solos has doubled, and I'm happy.

So in a few hours, I would've been back in HK, the Vine and oneighty for exactly one week. A week compared to my almost 6 years of being here is not really that much, but added on to 3 weeks of being in Canada, and it causes for reflection.

I've had a strange time coming back. Don't get me wrong, janice and I love HKG, love the Vine... But I'm in the middle of something like reverse-reverse culture shock.

I'm reading a book by Eugene H Peterson, the great man who wrote the Message Bible. He's an amazing pastor and has such insight into what being a pastor really is. when I read his book, I've felt that I'm just a masquerading young one compared to his experience and knowledge. Anyways, he has this exert that struck a cord in my spirit while on the toilet today:

after giving an amazingly uplifting of the pastor and of the church on a Sunday, Peterson gives this reflection of the other 6 days of the week...

But after the sun goes down on Sunday, the clarity diffuses. From Monday through Saturday, an unaccountably unruly people track mud through the holy places, leaving a mess. The order of worship gives way to the disorder of argument and doubt, bodies in pain and emotions in confusion, misbehaving children and misdirected parents. I don't know what I am doing half the time. I am interrupted. I am asked questions to which I have no answers. I am put in situations for which I am not adequate. I find myself attempting tasks for which I have neither aptitude nor inclination. The vision of myself as a pastor, so clear in the Lord's Day worship, is now blurred and distorted as it is reflected back from eyes of people who view me pawn to their egos. The affirmations I experience in Sunday greetings are now precarious in the slippery mud of put-down and fault-finding.

Ministry is ugly sometimes. In a place like the Vine and Hong Kong, 3 weeks is a literally a life-time. I've recently heard a story of someone being firmly planted into the central life of the church and is considered key.. All within 3 weeks? i've never met, seen or even heard of this person and now they're key? Crazy.

Anyways, so being back within 7 days has really opened my eyes to my role here. After reading a few chapters of this book I've been so blessed but also challenged. I'm a very emotion-orientated/driven person. Being away from my ministry and my church for so long has made me wonder how much am I really needed?

Needed is not the word. No one ministry should ever depend on one or two people. if it does, then it's not healthy. I think through this whole trip, God has spoken to my pride the most. It really isn't about me, and I got to see what that really looks like in reality. Who I am is not based on my title, my role, or my platform. Who I am is in Christ. Amen.

So here we are again. Janice and I return to a ministry we lead, and a church we call home. While it is my job, it is also a large portion of my life. There's been projects and plans made without us, and with that I'm so excited but also careful about how to re-insert back into this mad house we call the Vine. It's been an interesting week, but I hope and pray that we can find our feet again and just focus on what the Lord is calling us to do and be.

Ah.. Yes.. That would be nice. to follow the call.....

so i went to the DB soft launch and it was amazing. took loads of photos, and i guess here's the best of the bunch. click the photo to enjoy.


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