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Issue 18

Faith Journey, Part Two

Dear Random Recipients,

Before I continue with my testimony, I have to conduct the usual order of business around here in our digital world of my random thoughts. First of all, I'd like to welcome two of my good friends out here in Thunder Bay who received their first issue last time, Leah and Danielle! Yay! And this issue, I'd like to welcome Shelby to the illustrious ranks of the Recipients. Now, on with the show . . .

Last we read, I was in grade seven. I was beginning to love others . . . including girls. Girls have always been a grand distraction for me, as I'm sure most, if not all, of you know. So, I got the shaft twice in three months--pretty brutal. But I was determined. And so was God (He tends to be like that, eh?). Suddenly, everything I'd learned decided to come back to me. Suddenly, Jesus was more real than ever before. I remembered what it was like to feel the presence of the Spirit while worshipping at campfire at camp, which was where I truly began to know God. And all the prayers I'd prayed were not just routine, but meaningful. And I wanted Jesus. So, while being determined to get a girl, I was also determined to get God.

ALIENS came along, and made life even better. Somewhere between grades seven and nine, my youth group leader's daughter decided she was an alien. I think I was in grade eight. Of course, youth group had to be founded before anything of the sort could happen. So, when I was in grade seven, the Holy Trinity Anglican Church Youth Group was formed. We met regularly, studied the Bible, worshipped together, played games, and prayed. I was the youth group's first vice-president, a position I held for two years. And I saw Jesus in the cooperation of those around me. We did studies on who we are in Christ, papers from which I still have lying around my room. It came up that in 1 Peter 2:11, we are called "aliens and strangers in this world". One of the youth, our leader's daughter, designated us as aliens . . . I think. I'm not sure, because there was a crazy little group of four older kids of which she was a member and I can never be sure if anything any of them decided ever involved me or if I was just there. But somehow, it was advertised on a poster that we were the ALIENS. The acronym came into being that ALIENS stands for Anglicans Living In Eternal Newness of Spirit. I dunno if any of the others took that to heart, but I did. I wanted to be an alien in the world and I wanted to live in eternal newness of spirit.

Over the period of grade seven-eight I truly began to search for Christ. Anthony hooked me up with my first girlfriend in grade seven, with whom I went out for less than 24 hours. In grade eight, I went crazy for this other girl, and tried very hard to get to know her and get close to her. Luckily for me, she lived just down the street from Anthony, and she was one of his good friends. But despite the distraction this girl posed, I survived with my faith. In fact, she wasn't much of a REALLY big distraction until near the end of grade 8. And I did almost get this one. But I didn't. Instead, I finally got God.

Ah, God. That wonderful, elusive Creator of the Universe and Lover of my soul. He is utterly incomprehensible and unutterably amazing. God is awesome. I love Him. And at Church camp the summer before grade 8 (forgive me for my jumping around), I was NOT distracted by girls. I spent more time with God than I had before, and drew near to Him and got into His Word. I entered grade eight and felt some of the heat of persecution. But I retaliated less. Why? Because I was too busy either having fun or chasing God. To the guy who called me God freak, I responded saying that he should get it right, that it's "Jesus Freak".

I have to go to Bible study. I have more, though.

Peace of Christ,

Next Issue: Matthew gets confirmed. What about Katherine? What about all those early years? Church camp? Eh? EH?

Copyright 2001, Matthew Hoskin