Mid-Year Conference 2010 – Tuesday

Monday Night Antics

This is under the Tuesday post since the Monday one was so long (as an introduction). After the night session from last night, it was just about 10:30pm. We all moved off to have supper, I went off to have a shower before everyone else starts rushing there. For late night activities, we went up to the Prayer Tower, an isolated building sitting on top of a hill away from the rest of the campsite. We trekked up to the building which was mainly supposed to be used for prayer but we decided to play a few games on the top level. I wouldn’t call it “defiling” the building in any way, we just decided to have our socials there; the building itself doesn’t have to be used the way it’s called, nor does prayer need to be confined to that building.


Anyway the main reason I called this moment of time as a multitude of antics was that there were heaps of us Commerce students there. Compared to last year where we only had a small number of us (up to 20), this year we nearly had the entire Commerce faculty there, a total of at least 60 people. This made us a very unruly and noisy crowd. The top level was packed and we weren’t really able to have a group game with everyone; we had to split off into several group games. Then, we weren’t able to control the noise level, they were first years after all, and most of all, we couldn’t get them to go back to bed when it was nearly midnight.

I suppose the bad thing about having such a large group is that it becomes harder to control them; and getting to know other people is of course another major issue. Some of us left by midnight but others didn’t leave until after 1am, which was a pretty appalling time to leave considering it was the first night of a five-day camp. It wasn’t a pleasant night, knowing that there was a large crowd that us second years needed to learn how to control. We spent most of the time trying to keep them quiet and didn’t get much time to enjoy ourselves as a result. “Babysitting” is the term I would use to describe our activity last night.


The antics continued on in my cabin. There was someone, and I just can’t be bothered figuring out who it is, who kept on snoring…loudly, for that matter. Everyone else in our cabin was still awake because of him, so we conspired to have the guy in the bunk below the snorer, to give him a nice jab; which woke him up, sort of, but at that point the snoring stopped. I have heaps of trouble sleeping if someone snores, but my iPod worked well to sort of lure me into tiredness so I was able to fall asleep.



I was dead tired the next day, also because I was continuing from having 8 hours of sleep over the two days before camp started, because of the soccer. I stumbled in to have a morning shower and then had breakfast. Again, I forgot what we had. But I do know that I immediately followed up with some cup noodles because breakfast was not filling enough. Ah, I love cup noodles; will definitely have to bring some next year. So, clearly, I was not eating my own cup noodles; a bunch of people brought a huge stash and set it up as a vendor: gold coin donation; whatever.



This morning’s seminar was moving along in the Bible to the four gospels. So yesterday we looked through the Old Testament and now we’re moving onto the start of the New Testament. We learned that Jesus came down with God’s Spirit in Him (a bit confusing to imagine but yes). And that Jesus came down to baptize people with that Spirit; so in a sense He sort of was to transfer that Spirit onto other people. Without exactly going into what it actually did, we focused on some background theology behind Jesus; that Jesus was anointed as king with the Holy Spirit (so God marked Jesus as king through the Holy Spirit) and this act was a direct fulfilment of prophecy about Jesus, which we looked at yesterday. What Jesus actually did was spread the Word of God to other people and the Holy Spirit plays a role in His ministry by helping those people understand what Jesus was saying, and to remember it so that they could live out what Jesus said.


Afternoon Elective – Sexual Purity

We had electives in the afternoon (Bible study came before lunch but it was pretty much the same deal each day so I probably won’t come back to it until Friday). Of all the electives available for Tuesday I decided to go to the one regarding sexual purity whilst being a Christian, which is a fairly serious topic. They had a guy-specific and a girl-specific one (for obvious reasons), somehow I was the second one to sign up for the guy’s one on Monday. Yes I was keen to learn, and for no other reason.


Our seminar on this topic was fairly practical; it was thinking about how to deal with sexual temptations that we face everyday, where we would find them and what we could do to avoid them. Most of the content was quite explicit; but they were talking about things such as monitoring your internet usage through a program which would then send a report to several other people, so that they could keep an eye on you. It’s quite an interesting program to use but it certainly does take away the sense of privacy; it is spyware after all, even if it does encourage you to be afraid of looking at anything sexually explicit on the internet.


Other than that the seminar wasn’t that much helpful. It just brushed on some obvious dangers and didn’t really go into the consequences of those dangers. There are several horrible consequences, might do a post on that another time if I can, having only read a book or so that dealt with this issue. At the end of the seminar we were reminded that our body is a “temple” for God and so we should live our lives in that way and keep our bodies pure.


Night Session

Carl continued on from 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:16 on what the Holy Spirit is able to do. He made quite a strong emphasis that without the Holy Spirit, none of us are able to “discover” God, to get to know Him or to understand His words, that is, the Bible. I guess it’s quite daunting to be told that there is no possible way for anyone to come to know God without the aid of the Holy Spirit, despite how intelligent the human race is, in being to achieve what could be called “many” wonders.


In addition to this fact of truth, it’s also challenging to hear that God who gives out the Holy Spirit, chooses who to give it to. So we come back to the topic of predestination; but in actual fact it’s not as harsh as it appears to be at first glance. It just means that we know who to go to should we desire to know more about God; not always the most obvious places to look. The Holy Spirit therefore plays a major role in salvation since it allows people to hear and understand God’s Word and so respond to it in faith.


The Holy Spirit is significant also in that it inspired the authors of the Bible, which perhaps explains how we attribute the Bible to being God’s Word. How else would they have been able to write it without God “telling” them what to write? And then the Holy Spirit helps illuminate God’s Word, by allowing us to read it for its true meaning, which obviously is important. Some of the major refutes that come from non-Christians trying to find flaws in the Bible is that they read certain bits wrong, out of context, without adequate theological background knowledge, etc. Which again is why we all need to diligently study the Bible to clarify these misunderstandings.


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