Monday, November 29, 2010

Hello all my Bloggy-Blog followers!

Hello my bloggy-blog followers!
Well, another week has started here at Capernwray. And not only has a new week started, a new season has started. Yep. There’s snow here at Capernwray. Yeah yeah, laugh all you want. I shouldn’t of been so dumb as to think I could escape from the snow in England. I guess I just didn’t want to believe that it actually can snow here. It’s not too bad….as long as it stays at this 6 inch height. But I won’t get my hopes up, they say it’s supposed to double the amount tonight. :P Last night was pretty fun though, because once dinner was over we all went out and played in the snow for a few hours before evening church. It was pretty fun to watch some of the kids who have never seen snow before, they were so excited. It was fun sliding down the hill on trash bags and throwing snow into people’s faces. Of course, it’s all fun and games until the staff boys come out and hit you as you walk out of church. 4 standing in front of the door, one standing on the roof. Yep, I got attacked by snow. Oh goodie.

This last week was good. We learned a lot about the Holy Spirit and I loved learning all these different views of who the Holy Spirit is. I learned, what I believe is to be true, is that we do not need to be baptized by the Spirit, but we need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and it’s not just a one time thing, it’s a continual filling over and over, and you’ll notice not by how you may be able to speak in tongues or whatever, but the transforming of ourselves, and how much more we become like Christ. I’ve been working on that, letting the Holy Spirit transform me into a more and more Christ-like woman of God.
The weekend was really fun. On Friday me and some friends went to Lancaster to watch Harry Potter 7 part 1! It was SO GOOD! I loved it and loved being in a movie theater again. There’s a lot of movies I’m excited to see once I get back home. The other great thing about English movie theaters? They serve Ice Cream. Mmmmmm mmm good. After that we came back to have an awesome worship night, fellowshipping with each other and praising our awesome and Holy God. It was an incredible night. After that great act of worship….we watched….Lord of the Rings 2. Yeah, how’s that for spiritual? ;)

The next day was spent in a Hotel bar in Carnforth drinking cappuccinos and planning Christmas. We barely got anywhere, but we do have a flight from London to Milan….that lands at 12 in the morning. Oh gosh. This will be an adventure. I’m excited. Pray we don’t get mugged….or killed! ;)

This next week’s lectures are our favorite Principal Rob Whittaker speaking on the Upper Room Discourse, a continuing study on Jesus and his disciples in the upper room at Passover, and the cutest elderly couple Stuart and Jill Briscoe from Milwaukee, speaking on Romans and characters of the Old Testament. It’s going to be good.
Well, here’s to a new week. Only 3 weeks to go until Christmas break! Bring it on!!
Love you all!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Day of lots of Turkey-eating!!
It feels so weird not being home right now. I woke up this morning and was waiting for Grandma Judy to make us breakfast, while we waited for the Thanksgiving day parade to turn on. But then I remembered that no, there is no Thanksgiving parade, and sadly, none of Grandma’s breakfast. Yay for cereal!

I also had classes today. I know! What is Thanksgiving when you have to go to school? Haha. It was pretty relaxing though, so it wasn’t too bad. I also had to lead a 45 minute discussion on a book in the New Testament written by Paul which I found out about on Tuesday…so that was fun. I led it on 2 Timothy, and I think it went pretty well. I love when Paul says: “But God did not give you a spirit of Timidity, but a Spirit of Power, of Love, and Self-discipline.”

After a light lunch to prepare us for the feast we’re having tonight, I went back and took…gasp! A nap! Who knew? ;) Now Corinne and I are going to look up stuff for our adventure in Lancaster tomorrow to see Harry Potter 7, and then Christmas planning on Saturday. Later, our friend Alyssa will come over and we’ll watch Pocahontas, to prepare us for…da da daaaa! The epic Capernwray battle of Indian vs. Pilgrim Capture the Flag!!! Apparently, that’s how we celebrate Thanksgiving over here in England. We’re all dressing up as Indians and Pilgrims and it’s going to be so fun! It’s not the same, but at least we get to do something about it. The Canadians aren’t too happy about it though, considering we did nothing to celebrate their Thanksgiving…did you even know that Canadians have a Thanksgiving? I didn’t :P Oh well. We’re all really excited to dress-up anyways. Oh college students.

Well I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving! Enjoy being with your family and friends, and eat LOTS of good food, because I will be living vicariously through you since I don’t get to eat all the fantastic-ness that Americans make on this wonderful day. I love and miss and am SO thankful for all of you!!!
Love, Katie

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Today I had 3 naps.....

Well hello there friends and family!
It’s been a while since I’ve written. I’m getting pretty bad at this whole blog thing. Sorry. :P
The weeks seem to blur together, going so fast. I can’t believe that I’ve almost been here for 2 months already! That’s absolutely insane. I wish time would slow down. Soon I won’t be living in England anymore, and that is just so sad. Haha.

Let’s see. I finished my papers, got started on what’s due next week, and am SO tired! We had a fun family night at Trevor and Viv’s house, baking apple crumble and banana bread, while decorating for Christmas and enjoying hanging out with each other. Viv doesn’t like to cook so she threw some sausages and chips in the oven and called it a night. I miss cooking. Watch out Mom, because I’ve got about 6 months of baking/cooking to catch up on when I get home!

Saturday I had the awesome opportunity to go to a theater production of Beauty and the Beast in Leeds, England and it was fantastic! I love theater so much and wish I had more opportunities to be in plays when I was growing up. The theater was old and antique and so much fun. Did you know that in England you don’t buy candy at theaters, you buy ice cream? Well, it’s fantastic no matter what. The play was fantastic, and I absolutely LOVE Leeds! Such a cool old city, and my friend Corinne and I had so much fun walking around the German Christmas Market in the square and shopping at our new favorite store, Primark! 3 sweaters and a sweatshirt for 15 pounds? Yes please. We also went to the fabulous Pizza Express, where they make excellently GIANT pizzas, which of course, you eat all of. We got back super late and were really excited to go to sleep, until we realized our roomies were all watching P.S I Love You, and who can pass that up when you live so close to Ireland? ;)

We have a new guest lecturer this week, whom the staff say is always every classes favorite, Derek Burnside. He’s teaching on the Holy Spirit and I am SO excited to learn from him. It’s going to be a good week, and I’m excited for it.
But the sad thing is, it’s almost Thanksgiving, and we don’t celebrate that here. My tummy is already missing all that turkey-stuffing-mashed potatoes- pumpkin-pie-goodness you all get to enjoy. They put on a little “Everyone’s Thankful” celebration but it won’t be the same. So I’ll be living vicariously through you guys. I hope you don’t mind. ;)
Well, I’ll try to be better at blogging, I miss you guys! Have a fantastic week!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Yeah I's been awhile

Hello All! This week was a fast one, but also a long one. After my last blog, where I told you my Testimony, we finished the week with a lecture on…da da da….Singleness and Sexuality! Taught by the one and only, Sue Gilmore. For those of you who have gone to Capernwray, you’ll know Sue, because she’s been at Capernwray forever. Cutest totally British/Greek lady you’ll ever meet, hilarious to learn about what being single looks like and how she looks at all the pictures on the applications and says, “oh they’re so cute!…checking age…..darn, too young.” We also had a married couple who are connected with Capernwray come and talk about relationships and what worked for them and what didn’t. We learned a lot and I feel like I’ve learned so much more of what a Godly-relationship looks like and how it should play out. But don’t worry Mom and Dad, I haven’t got one of those relationships….yet. :P

After that we had a lazy Friday night, not really doing anything, and then a relaxing Saturday just resting and being quiet. The next week went fast, but it was exciting because our guest lecturer, was one we already had, Paul Keeys. Paul had taught us back in October how to “Walk through the Old Testament,” where we learn basically the timeline of the Old Testament through hand motions. It was so fun and crazy but a lot of signs to learn. Now he came back to teach us the New Testament, and now we have to memorize those as well. Oh boy. Test is on Wednesday, you can be praying for that. Those hand motions can get a little crazy….so don’t expect me to fully remember them when I get home ok? ;)
The week went on and then came Friday. Friday was absolutely fantastic, because a- we watched Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, on the big screen in the Conference Hall, and then…da da da daaaaa! The Caelic! Or “Kaley“…if you can’t pronounce it. This is basically Scottish Dancing. 2 hours of running around, dancing crazy Scottish dances, not knowing what’s going on, and laughing at all the people wearing Kilts. It was fantastic. One of my favorite Social nights so far. It was hilarious.

Saturday was when I went on my first weekend trip to……Liverpool! Home of the Beatles! Coolest place ever. The buildings are all made to look like ships, the musicians sing all over the streets, Britain’s Got Talent was holding auditions, and Beatle mania was everywhere. We walked down Matthew street, where we saw the club where the Beatles were discovered. We didn’t go in of course, because we’re good Christian Bible-students and of course you never go into a club at 1 o’clock in the afternoon! We took pictures with the statue of John Lennon, looked at Beatles-shops, bought fun souvenirs, and listened to Beatles music the entire way there. I absolutely LOVE Liverpool and want to go back sometime. One afternoon is nowhere near enough time to see everything. After taking fun jumping pictures by the docks, drinking a fantastically delicious Crème Brule latte from Costa Coffee (The Starbucks of England), and laughing a lot, we headed back home, to an intense Volleyball tournament, where one of the students would spike the ball so hard I cringed every-time it hit the floor. (He also had a volleyball scholarship, so that explains it all.)

This week we have 2 guest lecturers, 2 papers due, and lots of things going on. We’re learning about the Sermon on the Mount and Colossians. We have a paper due on either Ecclesiastes or 1st Samuel. We have a discussion on Sermon on the Mount paper due. We have family day on Friday night where we’re heading to Trevor and Viv’s house to Christmas decorate, bake, and play games. They say November is the craziest month, and since we’re all getting tired and burned out, prayers would be appreciated. Pray that the excitement that we had on September 25th would come back and fill us up, to keep us going until Christmas break. It’s week 8, and in Summer terms, it’s staff-depletion week. So prayer would be great. So that’s an update on what’s been going on. I’ll try and be a better blogger…once all my assignments are done of course ;)
Love you all!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Testimony of a Hume-Kid, the "Older Son," from Luke 15:25

Hey there!
Thursday was an awesome day. Every class was canceled. There was no internet. All we did was pray. All day. Pray and reflect. Worship. Hang out with roommates, share our testimonies. It was such a relaxing, revitalizing, rejuvinating, wonderful day just spent hanging out with Jesus, and I absolutely loved it. I was asked to share my testimony in front of the entire school last night by my family dad after I gave it during family groups the previous morning. I really didn't want to but Trevor really makes it so you can't say no. So I did. Geez was I nervous! I was shaking and kept feeling like I was about to start crying and all that, but afterwords everyone said I looked the least nervous! And that I was a great public speaker! Ummm...What!? Haha. God apparently worked through me because I know that I myself, was a mess, but everyone else obviously didn't see that. I realized though that many of you probably don't know my testimony, my mom doesn't even know it, so I figured I'd share it via blogy-blog for you. Granted, it's much more exciting to hear someone talking than just reading but you can just leave it up to your imagination instead. So- here we go:

My story is not exciting. It's not some crazy story about how I was totally broken on the ground and God miraculously showed up and pulled me out of impending doom. I've never drank, never smoked, never done drugs, never partied, in fact, I've never even cussed out loud before (In my head, plenty of times (hahah), but the words have never come out of my mouth). But that doesn't mean I haven't messed up. However, if you are looking for a story about the Prodigal son, this isn't it. My story is more of the other son, the one who stayed home and did good.
I was raised in a Christian family where I was taught about the love of Jesus from a young age and always went to church. One night when I was 5, after Sunday School, I asked my mom to pray with me and ask Jesus to come into my heart, since during Sunday School the teacher had asked who wanted to go to heaven where there was singing and dancing and flying and lots of good food, or go to Hell where there's lots of fire (insert laughter here), so of course I chose heaven. From that point on I became the good christian girl. It was never really a "real" relationship though, just going through the motions. When I was 7, my dad went to a fisherman's conference at a place in the mountains called Hume Lake Christian Camps. This place would not only change his life, but mine as well. By the time I had been 8 for a month, I was moved up to this crazy little mountain town, where the people there absolutely loved Jesus. I remember knowing this place was different, because the people who were professing their love for Christ actually lived it everyday, not just Sunday's like I was used to. However, I kept going through the motions, and expecting the faith of my camp and others to get me through life and keep my christian faith strong, even though I wasn't working at it. So I was still the good christian kid, never doing anything wrong, but the Devil used one thing to really distract me from a true relationship with Jesus, and that is through Body-Image.

I remember being at a friends house and as we were hanging out, they told me that they were hanging out with a bunch of people the other day talking about other people. So, I asked them what they said about me. They kind of pushed it away, saying, "ahh, nothin' much...." but I persisted, and they finally told me what they had said. "Well, they called you fat." Silence. "What?" I asked in a shakey voice. "Who said that?" I listened as they named off every single one of my friends and added their names to the list, and then professed they didn't really mean it. I remember walking out of that room and being so hurt.

Ever since that day the image I had of myself was distorted. I would wear big jackets so I could cover my body. I wouldn't smile with my teeth because I hated the gap I had in the middle. I hated looking in the mirror, and would frequently just look at myself and cry, cursing out to God asking why he had made me like this. Everything I saw when I looked in a mirror was exactly opposite of what the world was telling me was beautiful, and because I couldn't understand why God hadn't made me look like THAT, my relationship with God faltered. I couldn't understand why I looked like the way I did, couldn't understand why God hadn't made me skinnier, or with a clean face, or taller. I hated who I was. But one day, as I was reading my bible like a good christian girl does, I read a verse that I had read a thousand times, but this time, God really spoke to me through it and just burned me. "I praise you for I am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made, Your works are WONDERFUL, I know that FULL WELL." And I remember sitting there crying and realizing the stupidity of all the years of hating my body was. I realized that everytime I complained about my body I was slapping God in the face, saying that he didn't know what he was doing, that I could of done SO much better, that he had NO right to make me this way. But like Romans 9:20 says, "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Only once I accepted that God was God, and I was not, that was when I really began to see the beauty and creativeness of my Savior. I could finally see me through God's eyes, and not through the world's. I had a complete sense of wholeness and fufillment in Christ, and that I was his beloved daughter, who was enthralled by my beauty. I realized that there was no one in the world just like me, and nor would there ever be. I was a precious daughter of the Most High God, and I should stop hiding myself from the world. Once I accepted who I was and who I was to Jesus, that was when my relationship with him could really begin to grow.

It's still a constant struggle. The world is continually telling me that what I am is not it. But whenever I have those feelings, I remember those verses, and I remember my heritage, and that I am daughter to the King of Kings, and he is enthralled by my beauty, and no one can EVER take that away from me. So that's my story, I hope you can find pieces of yourself in it, and that if you've never felt like you are beautiful, I promise you, that to the Glorious King of Kings and Wonderful Maker, You are MORE PRECIOUS than diamonds, more wonderful than rubies, and he is absolutely enthralled by your exquisite, creative, different, unique beauty.
So that's it. The testimony of a Hume kid. The story of a girl who may not have sinned in big struggles, but sinned in being distracted by things of this world.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

No, I did NOT try Haggis.

Scotland was absolutely amazing! From the incredibly old buildings, to the men on the street playing bagpipes, to the Mexican food I ate on Sunday. I loved walking around the city, hanging out with friends in the old, old cemetery, and laughing at the crazy stories we all told about our Hostels. Let’s just say our hostel was very tame compared to others. Although it was still a bit on the crazy side. We toured the Castle, took lots of pictures, listened to live music festivals, and walked so far it didn’t matter what we ate that day because we worked it all off by that night. I learned so much about my family history, saw the MacDonald name everywhere I went, and even found in a museum a exhibit saying: “Who is Katie MacDonald?” It was fantastic. I loved all the old history and antiqueness of the city, but what I loved even more was the sense of community I felt when spending time with my Capernwray friends. It would just be so exciting when you would pass by some of them on the street. It was like seeing your family, and I absolutely loved that.

However, I was excited when it was time to go home. I didn’t have to pay for food anymore, I wouldn’t have drunk roommates, I wouldn’t have to walk so far everyday, and here I know the sheets are actually cleaned. It was wonderful.
So that’s Scotland in a nutshell for you. We’ve been trying to stay awake through lectures and since our new lecturer is about the 2nd coming of Christ it’s pretty easy to stay attentive.

If there’s one thing you could be praying for it’s that I wasn’t chosen to go on the Africa team. The director of Outreach came up to me this morning and said, “ I hope you’re not disappointed, but we’ve decided not to have you go to Africa. I just have a strong feeling that God wants you here in the UK.” of course my first thought was, “Well, duh, I’m disappointed! And who are you to tell me that Africa isn’t where God wants me?” But of course, I held it in. I am incredibly bummed to not be able to go though. I wanted to hold little African babies so bad, play guitar for little African children, do everything there is to do in Africa. You could just be praying that I will be ok with this decision, and that God will just show me that he knows what he’s doing, even though I don’t understand why he would place this desire in my heart only to snatch it away.

This week will pretty much be a chill week. I’m excited to just relax and enjoy being back home. Tomorrow we are “abstaining from technology” to prepare for our day of prayer on Thursday, so this’ll be the last post for a bit. I’m really excited because we spend all day Thursday just praying and hanging out and relaxing in God’s word. It’ll be really refreshing and I’m looking forward to it. I love you and miss you! Send me letters ;)