Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Its been a while! the last three months have gone by so fast and with everything going on I forgot to keep up with my blog. This edition will be a longer post regarding the last three months of November, December and the first part of January.
So during November I was fortunate to experience my first Thanksgiving in the United States. This was one of the things I was really excited about experiencing after hearing about the excellent food and fun family atmosphere. I was looking forward to spending time with the Fenn family over the Thanksgiving period. Thanksgiving is a huge deal in the United States, I would say more so than Christmas. People often book the week of work to visit family and friends or in Marks case, to Hunt. The week of thanksgiving was great fun, very relaxed and was a good time to recharge and enjoy some fantastic food. Seriously you just need to come to the USA to eat and you will not be disappointed. I left the UK as a Strong Safety and may come back as a Defensive Tackle. Unfortunately the Rebels Season was cut short. A long road game in Ponchatoula, near New Orleans was the location. Unfortunately it led to the Rebels losing a very close game. Coaching with the Rebels was a truly incredible experience. Learning a complex system and working with a fantastic coaching staff truly helped me grow as a coach and a person. Great memories were made and lifetime friendships built with both coaches and players. It was great to be able to mentor and still to mentor them to become good Men of society and I hope to watch the Rebels play again in the future. My favourite moment was watching each of my Freshman guys who played for the Varsity squad in the playoffs. It was a special moment to watch them perform on the big stage under the Friday Night Lights. One thing that's for sure is once you are a Rebel, you are always a Rebel and I will always be cheering for West Monroe no matter where I end up or what I do. The team has a piece of my heart and the people from the players to the fans truly embrace the true meaning of a community.
So we are in December, Christmas lights are going up, cards being sent and turkeys being stuffed, or in this part of the world, hunted! The Christmas season was truly upon me and it is my favourite time of year. I love Christmas and everything about it, the sense of community and family is everywhere with people making plans to see friends and family during the holiday season. Christmas is a special time for me as I love the way my family do Christmas. We go to my Grandparents house and often myself and my brother would go the week prior to spend time with my Nana and Grampa. We would often help them with preparation (what we tell ourselves we are doing, when we actually are probably more of a problem than help ) or just having the time to spend with them and enjoy each others company. Christmas Eve would come and now being an adult, myself and my Dad would go to the pub and spend time together, talking about life and my plans for the future. Its funny how a year ago we talked about me moving to America and spending this Christmas away from home, and not doing the normal routine which we do in our family. Honestly Christmas was tough, however I loved every moment with the Fenn family and truly felt at home with them which was awesome despite it being hard being away from my family. Christmas here was split between both Mark and Ann's families and of course we ate well. We had something a little different as one day was a Mexican Buffet whilst the other was Catfish. We played games, had fun and enjoyed each others company over the festive period, and I was truly spoilt by both my Welsh and American families.
January: New Years Eve and Passion
For New Years I went to a party with a few friends from the BCM who went on mission to Wales this year. It was awesome to hangout with Abbie, Mckenzie and Caitlin who invited me over with some of their college friends from the BCM. It was great to hangout and bring in the New Year with good friends.
After the holidays finished up I went to Passion 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. We took a 8 hour bus ride driving through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and then into Atlanta. Despite the long trip the event was well worth the drive. Passion 2016 is a student conference hosted by Passion Church in Atlanta. Led by Pastor Louie Giglio and his team, three venues met, two in Atlanta and one in Houston Texas over live streaming. 40,000 people worshipped God in three sports arenas and it was incredible. God really spoke to me over the course of the weekend and how we really need to make the most of our lives on this earth. As Christians we are called to make disciples across all the nations and we need to do it now. I realised how we so easily focus on getting through everyday that we don't stop and take time to invest in ourselves spiritually.How can we minister to others if we do not sharpen ourselves? This hit me hard and made me realise I needed to change some priorities I had in my own life so I could grow spiritually.
Before I came to the United States I was set on working in sports and focusing on American football. I wanted to become the next big thing and was so driven to achieve my own goals, and life plan that I was blinded to what God has called for me to do. I wanted to be rich, famous and be one of the greatest coaches in the world. The last few months however, I have learnt that our plan does not always line up with Gods plan, however Gods plan for our lives is always the best way for us to live. After much prayer and thought about the next step, I have decided to follow Gods plan and really feel called to Ministry full time. I feel God calling me to this area and even though I do not know how he is going to use me, or what he wants me to do yet. What I do know is that by putting your Yes on the table, and following him wholeheartedly that he will pave the way for you to be in the right places at the right time, wherever that may be. I am excited to see what God has planned and to see how he uses me to further his kingdom for his Glory over the coming days, weeks, months and years and watching more people come to know our amazing God. I aim to write more frequently and start a new blog in the next few months which I hope you enjoy.