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Issue 20

Faith Journey, Part Four

Dear Random Recipients,

Grr. Im typing this up in Word because I tried writing it before, but the stupid Internet lost it into the abyss of digital information, never to be retrieved and gone forever. Anyway, that idiotic paper clip thing came up and asked me if I needed help in typing my letter. Of course I dont. Silly, little computer programs! But here we are with the conclusion to the saga of my faith journey. Enjoy.


On May 15, 2000, I sent the very first issue of Randomness. This occurred eight days before I started over, which was where I left off in our last issue. Randomness is another example of how God uses stuff to strengthen our faith in Him. The prelude to Randomness was me sending out information about whatever and whatever I was thinking and recommending websites to whomever I wanted whenever I felt like it. It was the most random aspect of my life. But other people dont like randomness, and were freaking out. So I decided to make it my own little e-newsletter of whatever random things I wanted to say. It started out completely random with almost no unifying force. But over the past nine and a half months, it has become more united, with the primary focus being Christ, not me and my ideas. And the cool thing about writing about Jesus and life as a Christian is that it helps me grow as a Christian. So, as God is maybe (hopefully) enlightening all of you with my random thoughts, He is also benefiting me. Our God is a God of surprises.

May 23rd I started over, as you know. Starting over was a truly amazing experience for me, and I drew nearer to Christ and He helped me become more Christ-like. Jesus is awesome. Soon school came to an end. I started the summer with a groovy outlook, which is reminiscent of a friends at the time: Chase God, not girlsits more worthwhile. Of course, I felt that if a girl got mixed up in my life, whatever. I was, at the beginning of July, "laying low" in that area. By the end of July, I was flying high. July 25th, if most of you will recall, was the reunification of me and Katherine. I really enjoyed myself. But I drew away from God, and in the end, it wasnt what He wanted. So, by the time I left those blue, Alberta skies, I was questioning my feelings about Katherine. Doubts grew, disunity grew, and by November, it all exploded and it wasnt exactly . . . pretty.

But back to the summer. Summer was a happy time for me. God really showed Himself to me then. I saw a large portion of Canada. I first went to Hamilton, then New Brunswickall by car. Creation is beautiful as everything that God does is. In New Brunswick, I was taken aback by the might of God. We went to the Hopewell Rocks, and I saw something that a more "logical, pragmatic" person would see as a wonder of nature, science, blah, blah, blah. I saw something that was a wonder of God and the amazing universe He has created in such perfect order. In Alberta, I saw the beauty of the awesome Rockies again. Ah . . . mountains . . . . And God showed me the good that has come to me from my movement to Thunder Bay, lightening my spirits. As well, He showed me that in all the not good stuff that has happened since I left, He is still there and His Spirit lives in some of my good friends. Yay! Lots of stuff happened in the summer, and I drew nearer to God and became more excited for Him.

Summer, as many good things in the world must, came to an end. And it ended with a bang. To finish off the summer, I went to ISCF Leaders Camp over Labour Day Weekendthis time in much higher spirits. I learned sooo much that weekendit was excellent. God is awesome. I learned that weekend about community and stuff. The large-group sessions were about the movement from darkness to light, from blindness to sight, from death to life. We learned about perfecting the art of seeing, the Kingdom of God (GO KINGDOM STYLE!), and Droplets of Grace. Since then, God has come to me and reminded me of Him with His droplets of gracethe first time being that weekend. On the way home, we almost lost a wheel off our car. Not cool at all, let me tell you. We parked by the side of the road and posted Noah with a sign which read HELP PLEASE. While we were standing around by the derelict car, Leah pointed out a droplet of grace for us all. It wasnt raining. And that was great, considering the wet weather that had assaulted us all weekend. As Noah stood there with the sign, a kind man from Alberta stopped to help us. Then came a second droplet of grace. Rick, the guy who stopped to help us, is an aviation mechanic, which is what Hannah is planning to become. He was able to talk with her about their common interest. Later, we had to wait for the others to come and retrieve us from a gas station just west of Kenora. Leah, Sarah and I ended up lying on a hill talking, and having fellowship, reading the Bible and stuff. God is great.

So, after an excellent weekend with a not-so-excellent ending that didnt exactly abound in grace yet had a few droplets in it, I entered my OAC year. This year has been wild and crazy. Like every other year, it has been a wild ride of my faith going up and down, my relationship with God being better at some points than others. I have grown much, though.

Everything was pretty good up until maybe the end of October. Life mystically became hectic. My dreams became simple: to leave the world behind and go life with monks in Lindisfarne or some such place in Europe for a month and have no contact with the outside world. When I returned, I wouldnt have to worry about the month Id missed. My plans got progressively smaller from there. By December, my brother and I were planning on checking out a monastery in the States for a couple of weeks, then coming home. By mid-January, my plans were to survive another day. And then God just destressed it all and things have been going uphill from there.

Id say the uphill motion began at the beginning of January, when I had a talk about girls with a friend. I was back where I was in July, only with a new stipulation: NO girl was going to get mixed up in my mixed-up life. So far, that plan has been going smoothly, and I think Im happier for it. Ive been learning so much lately and I have lots to say about how amazing God is, but Ill just end it at two weekends ago.

Two weekends ago, we had a conference at my church. It was amazing, and very inspiring. It was called A Radical Church in a Radical Age, and was very good. It was about getting back to the apostolic roots and nature of the Church, to put it simply. On Friday night, God began the process of refining me and breaking down my pride, arrogance, and judgmental nature. It was awesome. I cried because Im such a fool, because God is so amazing, because Id hampered the work of Christ in so many ways, and because it was so wonderful. It was kind of weird, but very holy. God came to me where I was. Id been planning on going up for prayer, but was waiting for the line to get smaller. While I waited, God didnt. The Holy Spirit came to me and touched me. My youth pastor came to me, too, and prayed with me. She had a vision of me in Gods big, holy hand being refined by the flame of His glory. All I have to do is remember to stay putan task that seems to be amazingly difficult when you consider the size of Gods hand! Since then, my faith has been increasing greatly. God is awesome, and Im excited for what Hes doing in my life, the lives of my friends and the world.

In conclusion, Id like to thank you for your prayers. Youre all in mine. I hope this has inspired you or something, maybe given you hope or amused you or whatever. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all now and forevermore. Amen.

-Matthew Hoskin

PS: For those who care, today is John and Charles Wesley Day. Apparently its usually March 2, but my dad figures it was moved because yesterday was the World Day of Prayer. MJ

Copyright 2001, Matthew Hoskin