Summer’s past? I know I say this at the end of every season, but I honestly can’t believe that this summer is (technically) over. It seems like we’ve hardly begun. But then, it also feels like it should still be 2015, and instead we’re up to the third month of 2016.
I realized the other day that I had barely taken any photos this summer, so I went out one morning and took a few as the sun was coming up. It sort of fascinated me how a pretty ordinary photo could be turned into something entirely different and beautiful when the focus was shifted. Often we don’t like stuff out of focus, we want it perfect, or ‘normal’. But sometimes out of focus, backwards, upside-down, the entire opposite, is most beautiful. And I’m still thinking about that concept, and relating it to life, so that possibly didn’t make any sense.
I‘m just trying to think what I have spent the last three months doing. I finished school in December (another thing I can’t believe), went to a wedding and a camp in January, and spent time canvassing and practicing violin and piano in February. In between, I busied myself worrying about plans for the future, checked out a lot of fabulous blogs on the internet, began making getting up early a habit, played at a nursing home by myself for the first time, cooked meals, and everything else that comes into the category of ‘normal.’
The main highlight of my summer was the D’Sozo camp in January, and additional week of canvassing following it. It was a really great and amazing experience, just learning more about how to share the hope we have, spending time with people who are like-minded, and getting out and being a blessing to others. It also started me canvassing, and, by God’s grace and strength, there’ll be no going back. :)
(I’ve already mentioned canvassing a few times, and I will probably be mentioning it again, so I thought I’d better explain exactly what it is! By canvassing, I mean literature evangelism. We go out with a selection of books - including a healthy cookbook, a few different encouraging spiritual books, and a couple of different children’s books with Bible and character building stories – and knock on people’s doors. We show them the books, and chat with them. We don’t sell the books, but rather give them out on a donational basis, so that everyone who will read them is able to afford them. In between we pray a lot, and it’s amazing to see God answer prayers, work miracles, and change hearts. For me, canvassing is a way that I can be a help and blessing to others, and it’s also exhilarating to watch God work. So there, that’s canvassing in a nutshell! Are you coming with me next time?)
I’ve read appallingly little this summer; only one book in the whole month of January, and not too many more for the other months. The Boy in Striped Pajamas and Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry were the ones I enjoyed most. I picked up Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry in an op shop last week for one dollar, started reading it right away. Basically, I didn’t stop until I finished. Goodreads tells me it’s part of a series too, so I’ll have to check out the rest of them, because it was a good story: easy to read, yet riveting, well-written, and also touching to read about the injustice people had to go through. And then to realize it really happened; the book is based on the author’s family’s story. I’m also still reading Ministry of Healing and it’s inspiring and thought-provoking as well. (And it’s actually one of the books we canvass!)
In the Bible, I’ve been reading Acts, and the stories in there are amazing. Those disciples had so much faith and courage. They believed, they prayed, they went forth, and no one could stop them. God worked miracles through them, and often hundreds or thousands of people believed at once. But the disciples were humble too, and that strikes me. They could’ve taken glory and praise for the things they were doing, but they directed it all back to God. I’m only up to chapter thirteen, but so far two things seem pretty clear about the disciples’ evangelistic methods: they prayed a lot, and they shared about Jesus every single chance they had. It’s been really convicting. And I recommend it, if you’re wondering where in the Bible to read next.
Anyway, I always feel like these posts are so full of me, and I’d really rather hear about you. :) So what were some of the highlights of your last three months? Are you keen to try canvassing (or have you done it already)? Have you read Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry, or the book of Acts? What’s been your favourite book, verse, quote, song, etc? What are you looking forward to most about the next season?