Returned from CUAR (College and University Alliance Retreat) yesterday. Spent weekend sleeping in same room with 4 other girls. Thankfully, I wasn’t stuck w the bunk beds and that no one snored :), tho’ someone was talking in their sleep ;P. It kinda felt like CC tho b/c I didn’t feel like I quite belonged, though I met some new ppl (namely Jessica) from MCAC and got to know more ppl, surprisingly, from OCAC (Eric, Leon, and Wilson (well, Pete’s housemate)). I had pre-notions of CUAR that ppl would be cliquey; but I was partially proven wrong (always a good thing). The OCAC crowd didn’t really hang out w each other too too much, but the MCAC did. I kinda drifted/floated from group to group…Danny/Noel, and the girls (P, Joanne, Jess) namely for the hiking trails. Strangely enuff, only a handful of OCAC group really endured the entire 2 hrs for wall-climbing. Most others just left. I had to stop after 2 climbs on the easy wall b/c I was too tired from hiking. Sigh =(. But, hiking was fun b/c I’m a type that likes to explore and discover new things like yellow birds, hawks, deer droppings (well, maybe not that), trillians (Ont flower), beaver dams and chewed trees, porcupines (totally not like my stuffed bald animal or what i imagined a porcupine to look like) and orange and red fungi :). I can tell that P likes it too…I’m glad that someone enjoys the outdoors as much as I do :). Canoeing was canned b/c risk of hypothermia under 2 mins. S’ok tho b/c the waters looked very deep and um, dangerous. Praise God, He held off the rain til we left so we got more chances to do things outdoors :).

J taught me one thing: it’s the “pillsbury-doughboy” tickle-smack technique ;). I first I was kinda mad at my myself for “falling” for his lil trick but I soon learned to use it to my advantage :D *muahahah*… Also bumped in Andrea, someone my sis and I met at JMC in 97! :) Heheh, when I saw her, I kept whispering to J and Marc asking them what’s her name b/c she looked familiar and then when I walked by her up close, I said, “Are you Andrea?” and she’s like, “Yeah! Sheila?!” (that’s my sis), but yeah well we went like so excited to see each other again…I met her sister Chloe too and she’s pretty cool as well :). Shame that David didn’t come; apparently he had to work. I must be getting really old or something but I gotta sleep so early at retreats now. Maybe it’s because somehow I was notified last min that I was expected to attend the 7:30 AM prayer meetings (b/c I was supposedly on the CUAR committee due to handbook compilation), which meant that I had to wake up at 6:30 AM to shower (yes, I must shower :P). Or maybe it was b/c I was recovering from a cold as well. Ah wellz.

Stopped @ Hershey’s Factory on the way back, but once I walked in to see the Factory itself, it totally reminded me of the Canadian Mint, but it was chocolate instead of coins (and no smelly ppl :P). The sweetness of the smell almost sickened me. I didn’t buy too too much ($10.36) b/c I’m not too too into chocolate, but some ppl (*ahem* marcy *cough*) bought like $46 of candy! Actually, i don’t think I’ll be that excited again. Once I started to read the ingredients of those products, it started to totally turn me away from buying so much…

I wasn’t sure exactly what I learned at CUAR but when I took the time to reflect, it was a formula that Pastor Chris Lee (speaker) left with us:

Spiritual Growth=(Willingness to Learn) * (Willingness to Change)

I realise that often I’m really willing to learn, but not exactly willing to change much. I tend to be quite complacent or stubborn in terms of liking to stay put and being in control (ie. changes or uncertainties w my future, etc. often give me insecurities), which might explain why I haven’t matured much w/in the last year. Pastor Chris explained that even if one factor is only 1% and say the other is say 10%, you’ll still get 10% of growth, but if one factor is lacking (0), 10*0 is still 0, so you’ll experience no effects in your spiritual walk with God. Makes perfect sense now that I see the analogy visually. I also need to be more passionate for Christ.

Addtionally, I was once again reminded of my commitment to reach out to the non-Christians around me wherever God placed me. I remember last term in my Prayer Duo (w Vonnekins), I had a notion that whether I was in Ottawa or in Toronto, I was responsible to reach out to certain individuals and live a living testimony of God’s love. I’m not entirely sure that I’ve done my part just yet…tho’ I pray that my lifestyle will reflect the joys of being a Christian :).

Another thought that occured to me was the word “Retreat” itself. The word reminded me that the weekend is supposed to be a “Retreat from the distractions of everyday life, and a retreat unto God”…

I also felt this spiritual battle throughout the retreat. I can’t believe I was victim in falling for my “fleshy” desires…of snoozing. Although I prolly had a TON of zzz compared to many others, I had to fight so hard to keep awake. The first day I blamed it on Dimetapp (which may or may not have been the cause), so I didn’t take it the second day. The times that I didn’t pray for power and strength, I sccumbed to the temptation. =(. Think twas thrice in total; one for PD’s workshop (whoops), maybe during a msg (in and out), and during the concert of prayer for A in ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). I was amazed at how much prayer helped me. After I realised what I was doing and I earnestly sought after God for help, I was fully and completely awake. Confirmed something else tho, I really really hate 2D speakers, namely TV evangelists. Even tho Ravi Zacharias was really good and kept most of my attn, I almost fell asleep b/c I just can’t pay attn to someone who’s giving me fake eye contact. I like radio cassette sermons from him and his books tho. Same w Henry Blackaby (dats the workshop I fell asleep in). In fact, for the Fresh Encounter workshop, I want to avoid all SS sessions w videos in them from now on b/c of this dislike/restlessness for sermon videos. Kinda like RC Sproul I guess.

Back to the city: my interview today got cancelled but for some reason I never got the voicemail message that the guy seemed to have claimed to left in my voice-mailbox, so I ended up going to the place for no reason. Tho’ I’m not sure if it was really no reason b/c now at least I have a better idea of the atmosphere. I also met this really friendly Chinese girl named Irene at the office. One of my first thoughts were, “WOW! she’s so friendly and seems to emit this atmosphere of joy and that she enjoys her job, whatever it is (looks like mail-delivery girl, etc.)”… “maybe I will be able to get to know her if I get hired and introduce her to some of my friends at OCAC.” Then I evenutally find out that she DOES go to OCAC but in the Chinese side =). Think would be fun to get to know her. So it’s postponed til next Wed (tentatively b/c the interviewer might be in Montréal due to an opening of a new store), but I also have a gov’t job interview on Thurs., so I hope that will go well as well (even tho it’s min pay. *siiigh*–I’ve never been paid $6.85 in my entire life before as min pay in Vanc when I started working was $7 or $7.50). I’ll pray that I get one of them!

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