Lots to go through in this post; but let me start with something less relevant just to get the ball rolling.
Today’s title is brought to you by an anime airing this season called “Natsuiro Kiseki” (A Summer-Coloured Miracle), quite a nice title with a nice slice-of-life storyline; and awesome voice actors who perform the opening and ending themes – I’ve always liked how Japanese anime like to get the voice actors of the main characters to also perform the music for that anime (the most well-known for doing so is probably “K-On”). Nevertheless I really like the song, here’s the opening clip:
Okay moving on, I know it’s been a really long time since I’ve last given an update on what’s been happening in my life (last time was probably Hong Kong, so quite a number of months since then).
Heading into my last year of university has in fact proven to be much easier than compared to last year. The courses I am doing for this semester, and next semester, all seem to be relatively simple and do not require much stressing or studying over (usually in that order). The most significant counter-intuitive thing I’ve noticed for this semester is that my 4th year Actuarial courses require absolutely no mathematics in them; that’s right, zero calculations of any sort. Instead, the course focuses on principles and applying them to a professional setting, skipping all the intermediary and tedious calculations – that can wait till the workplace. A 2nd year finance course and two 3rd year math courses have provided no difficulty to my studies this semester, apart from incompetent and annoying lecturers, I won’t specify which courses exactly, but I am still partially annoyed that they have such staff taking our money from us as course fees.
Next semester will see me with about 9 hours of class over three days (the lowest in my history of university – and for once I’ll actually have a three-day week!), with about just as many hours of break in between. I hope to be able to use the ease of my studies and my breaks to spend more time with people in my final semester at university, so do come and book out my many free time slots on Wednesdays and Thursdays to hang out!
Next year I no longer need to stress about finding a job because I’ve managed to secure a graduate position with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, as a Risk Management Analyst. I must say that I am truly grateful to God for gracing me with this job; I don’t care what people say about me being smart and all that (haha you’re funny Jason!) but I am honestly convinced that this was all the work of God. I mean, how coincidental is it that this position was the first, one and only position to get me through the final round of the interview, and then to have it succeed on my first go without having any prior experience to assessment centres? What are the chances? Zilch. In no way am I a genius who deserves this position but God has given it to me, not for my benefit (though the salary is quite nice), but so that I can use it to glorify God with my life. How that exactly works is a bit beyond me at the moment; but I suppose I’ll figure it out once next year comes around.
I think the timing of this graduate position was perfect because I haven’t had to worry about applying for a job anymore, leaving me able to focus more on other aspects in life. I am looking forward to my job, but there are perhaps too many things in between that are on my mind so I won’t really sit down and think really hard about work until it actually comes around. Nevertheless, it’s waiting for me.
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this to a lot of people, just the ones who needed to know, but as of the start of this year I am not considered to be a leader of my church, and hold no leadership position whatsoever. This was primarily because my uni timetable make me unable to attend a compulsory weekly leaders’ meeting and so it was a fair decision to have me sit this semester out. This is completely fine and I think it’s the right thing to do (since it was mostly a binary solution and it would just not be worth it to find an optimal “in-between” solution. Nevertheless I’ve had to drop youth group, which had its repercussions, but I’ve managed to pick up the young adults group, just as a member; but at least now I can hang out with people my own age, rather than high school kiddies.
To be honest, I really did enjoy youth ministry these past few years of my high school, and I will admit that a lot of the time I felt like I wasted my time leading youth group, but this is mostly because you don’t really see the change in them until they reach the end of their teens, that’s when real fruit begins to surface. So even today I can see my youth finally starting to grow and become a Christian ready to tackle to world once university opens up for them, and that I suppose is better than no growth.
It’s been good to have been able to visit the young adults section of our church, it really does hurt the distribution of the congregation when you’ve got all your leaders serving in a different ministry, with few mature people left to minister to the less mature Christians there. I’m glad to have been a part of that and seeing other young adults grow. Sadly, due to my uni timetable for next semester again, I’ll have to ministry jump again away from young adults, and into something else. Yes, it’s annoying to have to change ministries every 6 months, it actually feels like I’ve doing an MTS program. Not exactly sure how things at church will change again for me next semester, but the one consistent thing I am doing for church is the occasional sermon – possibly another one or two of them lined up for the second half of this year. Check the announcement board at the top of the front page for updates.
God has decided to throw me back to past for next semester, and so from semester 2 (or term 3) onwards till the end of the year, I will be actively helping out with the Baulkham Hills High ISCF group. It will be a good experience for me in terms of ministry, visiting an old ministry to see how it’s been going, and also getting a second shot at it. I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t think I did a good job of leading Soul Purpose back when I was a student; probably did a fair number of things that had my peers shaking their heads at Christians in general. There’s not much I can do about the mistakes I’ve made in the past, but next semester will be a chance to sort of do for Soul Purpose what I wasn’t able to do as a student, which is pretty exciting. I think one bonus from going back to Soul Purpose now is that I don’t know anyone there, so more of an experience trying to get to know new people rather than just working alongside people I already know.
One more thing before I move onto my next point, if someone can find me information on dates for doing a Safe Ministry Training Refresher course, that would be really helpful (as mine has expired for this year, so I couldn’t do youth group anyway). Note that I’m not available for the session on June 16, it’s during exams and I have work that day anyway. Thanks.
Campus Bible Study
Most of ministry this semester has thud been centered around CBS at uni. Our grade has mostly been trying to help the younger years take more responsibility over the faculty; most of us have stepped down from leading because 4th year was getting progressively harder. And for people who don’t find 4th year to be a challenge, like me, I’ve been serving all the more as a Bible Study leader and meeting up with people there. The culture of the faculty has changed a bit, our grade is no longer the dominant one; rather, we’re too old to hang out with and pretty much most of the activity is by the 2nd and 3rd years. I suppose our role now is just to make sure that they don’t do anything irresponsible and act and live in a godly way. They’re a nice lively bunch of people, which is always refreshing to see. I think the notion of leadership has dawned on them and they are beginning to think more seriously about what that will mean for them and their grade, especially with the younger years looking up at not our grade, but their grade. Hence, our grade has slowly begun to lose its influence, but that’s okay, we’ve played our part. And I will continue to play mine to the end of this year.
MYC is around the corner, it’s going to be an awesome time, since it will be my last one. Will need to make the most of it.
Yes, US Chronicles is on its way. We’ll be heading to the US at the end of November and returning in the first week of January (please don’t ransack my house during that period – someone will be here guarding my stuff I can assure you, namely my parents). I will be releasing Vlogs about our travel overseas, and all the different things that our group gets up to haha. It will be interesting to see how our group will function, being forced to live with each other for a whole month, I do pray we grow closer together during that time, since most of us are going into full time work next year.
I think just one quick note about our trip. I think to be fair, our main motivation for this trip is because it’s the end of the year and for most of us, we will be graduating, and so it will be our last chance to have fun before being faced with a life full of work (an exaggeration of course). But we understand that we should be going on this trip for more reasons than just having fun. And so our group has decided that we do want to continue building each other up in Christ while we’re overseas, and also to make good use of our opportunity to be witnesses of Jesus Christ in America; which definitely will include visiting churches and to get a feel for where the Christian movement is at in the US. For me personally, I do want to do a bit more research into the whole Charismatic culture thing going around. It has been the cause of more problems than good, but I think I want to get a better understanding of it first before I start firing away at it haha.
Wow, I spelled that word correctly the first time =) Anyway that’s about all the major points I wanted to cover I think. Exams are around the corner and I really need to be “studying”.
For those who are interested, my Diablo 3 account has been hacked, which is probably a good thing because now I won’t have it distracting me for exams. At the moment Blizzard can roll back my account to a previous save point on their servers, so I can get most of my items back (think of it as like doing a system restore for your computer), but the save point isn’t necessarily the moment right before I got hacked so I could potentially have my progress set back even further. Doesn’t matter, the public opinion on this game is that the game is horrible, and I’m starting to lean in that direction. So without rambling let me quickly summarise what the hack involves, from my many hours of research because of frustration:
Your account gets jeopardised in some manner. At the moment there are a lot of theories going around about how this happens. Really don’t know how it’s being done, and Blizzard won’t disclose anything (they probably know but feel like disclosing that information will be bad).
The hacker logs into your account (even if you’re playing at the time, like me, the server disconnects you).
The hacker somehow changes your password (which you can quickly recover) – this part is weird because I don’t get a “your password has been changed” e-mail which suggests they are changing your password in some other manner.
The hacker most likely uses a macro that quickly moves your character to town, where you stash and items are taken and sold to the merchant vendor – in other words he liquidates your assets
Then the macro hands all your gold to the hackers account – you are thereby “stripped” of everything, literally everything.
Once you get your account back, you’ll find a suspicious account on your “recently played with” list, ie the hacker.
Here’s a video showing what happens:
Yeah, the game sucks; a lot more people are more upset than me, but for the time being, exams; and there are other things more important in life haha. Until next time…