The beautiful United States of America

(Source: jesse-pinkman, via quandtuesla)

Photos from top left: Painting one of the youth rooms, Belfast Castle, St. Patricks Cathedral, Trinity Bible College, the view from the bus ride to Dublin, Temple Bar area, Cave Hill.

The past couple weeks have gone by in a flash. I’m definitely adjusting well to the culture and climate, just haven’t spent much time on the internet.

Freshers have arrived to Belfast in droves as school is about to start next week. In the meantime before most of our programs begin we’ve been making preparations for the term; painting, planning, and doing various events with international students that have just moved to Belfast.

Two Sundays ago I was able to do the Scripture reading in the morning service and speak with the youth about prayer at “Late Breakfast.”

The last couple weeks have been full of learning. Besides reading huge chunks of the Bible and having more introspective conversations, my friends have been kind enough to teach me some guitar, table tennis, pool, and I even had some Lazer Tag practice with folk from Youth Club. I already tell it’s going to be a fun year!

My couple weeks ago friends from the States came to visit for a few days. We hiked around Cave Hill and Belfast Castle, went to St. George’s Market, and Ulster Museum in Belfast. Another day we went down to the Republic and enjoyed the grounds of Trinity College and live music in Temple Bar. Great craic, so it was.

This last weekend my friend Alex was kind enough to invite me down to a food festival in city centre. In addition to the tastes morsels, I enjoyed her company and was glad to spend her birthday with her.

Apart from all the truly wonderful parts of being here, it’s also been a struggle to adapt to a different culture and make friends. Please pray for continued confidence to strike up conversation with strangers!

Thankfulness // New friendships and deep conversations in unexpected places. Meeting my host family. Music. Verdant landscapes. Being accepted for being my goofy self.

Golden nuggets // You can learn a lot from people you disagree with. Relationship is what life is all about. It’s fruit not fruits of the Spirit; you don’t get to choose which ones you want but evidence of them should always be increasing in the life of the Christian.

Week 2 of #TheGreatCraicAdventure

This last week has flown by yet I feel as though I’ve been here for months rather than two weeks. It’s been full with a few meetings, lots of time with my intern team/house mates, and some good craic (or fun) with some friends from Oregon as well!

This week I found out what ministries I’ll be involved in:
Late breakfast // jr high and high school Sunday morning services
The Net // College age ministry
Wednesday Club // club for the elderly
Girls dance group // for jr high and high school
Student Lunches // Serving a free lunch to and connecting with university students in Belfast on Thursdays
Youth Club // Game/Sport/Social night for jr high and high school students

In addition we’re doing other little projects such as painting one of the youth rooms, sending mailers out, and this week and next we have the privilege of welcoming international university students to Belfast through various programs with ‘Friends International’. (Ironic.)

Golden nugget // Intentional accountability requires being honest about ones weaknesses and struggles.

Thankfulness // Church services … Got to do the Scripture reading on Sunday and give a short message to the students. Spending time with friends from Oregon … Going to walk Cavehill in Belfast and heading to the Republic with those girls and Tiffany for a quick jaunt.

So life is good. God is good.

“Male privilege is “I have a boyfriend” being the only thing that can actually stop someone from hitting on you because they respect another man more than they respect your rejection/lack of interest.”

The Sociological Cinema

There was actually research that was done that found that women who used an “I have a boyfriend/husband” excuse to reject unwanted sexual attention and harassment by their bosses were more likely to be left alone than those who used any other excuse (including “I’m not interested”)

Because men respect another man’s property (and that’s how they see us) than a woman’s autonomy.

(via srirachahot)

I had to use this once and the guy said to me “I respect that.” I guess he didn’t respect my choice to stop texting him, ignore him in class, not call him back…

(via virginlux)

Arguably I have known men with the same issues from women and some women still go for it even when the man says, “Sorry I’m taken.” I don’t mean to be the devil’s advocate, but it goes both ways in our society. It’s not just men, women are doing it too.

(via living-loved)

(Source: queerintersectional, via living-loved)

Cute items in Paperchase

“What things stir your affections for Jesus Christ? Do them.”

Matt Chandler (via kschlabaugh)

(via living-loved)

“Courtesy is one of the Christian virtues; and the New Testament hates what it calls “busybodies.””

C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity
“For children are innocent and love justice; while most of us are wicked and naturally prefer mercy.”

“If fairy-story as a kind is worth reading at all it is worthy to be written for and read by adults.”

J.R.R. Tolkien