Monday, July 30, 2007

Family Trip!

The biggest priority for coming back to the US when i did was family.

We stopped at my mom's parents farm in Lexington, North Carolina
I hadn't seen Nanna and Pappaw for about 3 years!

I have always enjoyed my time with them at the farm and wanted to make sure to spend time with them before heading back to New Zealand

They around 90 and going strong living on their own at the farm. I love it.

Fishing at the ponds on the farm is always fun. This is me, brandon, Nate(cousin), and Brenton
And it is always tradition to hike up the farm mountain to Drum rock

We were blessed. Friends let us stay at their beach house where we literally walked out the back door to the beach. We relaxed, surfed, played games, and just enjoyed each other.
I got to spend some time with the newest addition Jaylon Christian Bruce on the trip. He stole the show. So cute. Always moving. Always making faces. Always dressed so stylish. I still feel like i am going to break him when i hold him though.
It is fun to see your parents be romantic... every once in a while! :)

I was still readjusting to the culture but really enjoyed the time with the family who i love and love to be around. They are such a godly source of encouragement, joy, and support in my life. I am who i am today because of them, hands down.

Windshield wipers

A lot reminds me of New Zealand still.

Windshield wipers being the biggest thing.
In New Zealand the blinkers and windshield wipers are on the opposite side so at least once every drive my windshield wipers seem to go across instead of my blinker when i am making a turn.

It just reminds me that i was starting to establish home somewhere else!

Yeah i still have to measure things in kilometers and Celsius or convert the measurements depending on who i am talking to and where!

The Kiwi and Aussie accents sound a lot thicker over the phone rather than being in person talking to them.

It gets dark here at 9-9:30pm in the summer
In New Zealand it was getting dark around 6-6:30pm in the winter

I think its getting dark i still got the whole night ahead of me thinking it is about 7pm and it is already 10!!!
So as i work out the details of settling in the US until i head back to New Zealand for awhile, little things like the windshield or secondguessing which side of the road i should drive on when i turn in an intersection just remind me that life can't be so different so quick

Thursday, July 26, 2007


I finally made it home. I feel like i have been traveling to my body's end!
and i'm tired.

I just got home for a little while and my whole self just felt like it slumped over in exhaustion.

it feels good to just sit somewhere for awhile.

I spent July 15-22 with my family in North Carolina and July 23-26 with my friends Dave Hopewell and Levi Huffman in Columbus, Ohio and just got to my parents house in Plymouth, Indiana tonight.

Here has been my traveling lately

Australia Round Trip
(Melbourne to Cairns to Brisbanne)
flying hrs 5250km 3260mi 7 hours
driving hrs 4907km 3049 miles 51 hours

Work at camp
Auckland to Taupo Round Trip
Driving hrs: 560km 346 miles 8 hours

Flying to Indiana
Auckland, New Zealand to Indianapolis, USA
flying hrs: 13223km 8216 miles 17 hours

Family Vacation
Plymouth, IN to North Carolina Round Trip
Driving hrs: 2172 kms 1350 miles 26hrs

Dave and Levi Visit
Driving Hrs: 322kms 200miles 3 Hrs

It was even more scattered than that but over the last two months i have traveled
driving distance: 7,958kms 4,945miles 88hrs
flying distance: 18,468kms 1,1476miles 24hrs
Total distance: 26,427kms 16,421 miles
Total travel hours: 112hrs! over 4 and a half days of solid travel!!!\

A lot of numbers to say, my body is ready to be in one spot for awhile... or at least something like that.

Cool things are happening with some friends. Will update you soon!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Back home

Just arrived to Indiana and i am going to sleep. Waking up for Church and then we drive to North Carolina for a week to spend time with the grandparents. What a great time. No cell phone. No pressures for the week. No internet really. Just simply time and family. I am looking forward to it. I will have a lot of thoughts on my return i am sure!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Packing Up

I head back today and i am doing last minute packing. The last week went well! I had a lot of good conversations with teens and workers. Now i head out at 7:30pm on Saturday in New Zealand and get back to Indiana Midnight the same day with the time travel! Gotta go

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Off to work

I am off to the Mountains from Monday to Friday this week to be a snowboard instructor. your prayers are appreciated on this one! It will be a crazy week!

Life is good.

I miss consistency and a set life plan.

I am learning and preparing.

The adventure and experience has been priceless

God is at work.

I can't wait to see and be apart of it wherever that is around me this week!
i feel like i will be sharing about my faith at least once on this trip.

Time will tell.

Finishing well.
- I feel like i left college well
- i also feel that i have left this time and place well. Never easy, never everything, but enough, and fitting! God is good.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Surfing On Thursday

Another consistent reflectional thought because of Experiencing God:

Where is God Moving?
Has he called me to be a part of something i am not seeing, to wait patiently, or is New Zealand all he has given me at the time and i am supposed to work out the other details as i go along.

Thursday i was able to take Josh Bowlin, Aaron Fussner, Nate Fussner, James Mackay, and Jordan surfing! It was a good day. I love helping other enjoy new experiences and opportunities. Aaron and Nate stood up on their first day of surfing. So good. My favorite quote from Aaron was, "My only question is: why haven't i tried this sooner? I had a lot of quality time with some friends and James. I have been able to do so much relationally this past week. There are plenty of "shoulds" that have fallen through the cracks, but i feel like God has redeemed a lot for me.

Half way through this trip i was completely down on myself as a leader and planner. I still don't feel i am the best coordinator, but God has allowed this last week to work out well! I have been able to push others, push myself, search for God, and learn in the process!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

One of My Biggest Fears....

One of my biggest fears is this question

Is my life pointing people more to me than to God?

Although i have wondered about this often, I have seriously asked this question and been reevaluating my lifestyle two specific times in my walk.
1. My Last year of college
2. Now, as the Experiencing God book talks about the difference of a self-centered and God-centered life

The Signs:
1. I often search for God to first help me so that i can show and lead others in the same way
2. I suspect people would be more likely to say, Brent... is a great guy ....a great Christian ....has a great heart more often then seeing the qualities of God. The praise seems to often come to me (an ordinary man) instead of back to God and his strength
3. My life is so centered around the Christian life that it is sometimes hard for me to give the exact verse for why i do what i do. I am spirit led, but i fear i set myself up to once again look like the good guy than to be prepared to give God and His truth the credit where it is do.

This is a tough question to ask and i feel like a lot of people don't understand the question or don't want to be honest with me because it scares them to even think about it. They subconsciously think, "How in the world could you say that when your whole life is dedicated for life and if you aren't doing it then how am i supposed to do it?" At least that is what i think in my head.

Most of the responses i get are so rebuttallish that i almost want to except people's words so quickly:
1. They try and reaffirm me and the good i do
2. i hear the subconscious thought i expressed above

Maybe it is a deep struggle that is more of a personal battle...
maybe i am to stubborn to see that God is glorified to me and Satan is putting lies of defeat in my head....
But what i really want:
Is to not let this issue be settled so quickly, but to take time to work through this by myself and others.
I am afraid we are too quick to find an answer to this question: Either i do this or i fail at this because it is an extremely question to find answers to.

Appreciate your help or response:
my email is

Ran across New Zealand today!

They have this coast to coast race in the South Island but i couldn't make it down for it so i made my own run up in Auckland.

That was probably one of the most challenging, stretching, painful, stupid things i have ever done! First my knee joints hurt, then my calves, then my quads and gradually my whole legs! I stopped a few times, once to tie my shoes, once to fill up on water, and a third time to talk to miss pessimistic. The whole thing took me 4:37:36 to run. 21-22 miles 35km! intense but challenging!

I talked to two people on the road. the first lady said my destination was "ages off" and i didn't like her. The second couple said that my destination wasn't far and gave me the impression that my goal was totally attainable!
I started out with Sunshine and ran the last to kilometers in a thunder and lightning storm. While i was shivering and getting warmer I met Matt and kirstey. Matt, a total stranger, sawe me cold and hungry as i waited for my ride and totally bought me hot chocolate and a caramel slice to help. Turned out he was a Christian, but what a great testimony of kindness and generosity!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Interesting Happenings

The Teens and I went rock climbing with the youth groups from East City Wesleyan and Papkura. It was fun!

First Happening: I challenged Annie Wright to a race up the wall. Given she has climbed more than me lately, i thought it would just be a fun challenge to get her on the wall, but knew it wouldn't be easy. Everyone gathered around while we faced the wall with the easy holds and routes. Ready... Set... GO!!! We started to climb and i didn't have time to look over to see exactly what was going on, but just enough to see Annie kicking my butt! She was like a monkey! I started to catch up towards the top but she beat me to the top of the wall by a bodies length! Man! She was fast. Everyone was laughing and clapping for Annie and rightfully so. Turns out, i am walking around and Drew graciously comes up to me about 10 minutes later and says, "You know what happened right?" i said, "she beat me..." Then it all started to make sense. Right as he was beginning to explain... She had Help!!! The guys down below were yanking on her rope to make her go up faster!!! I was royally beat twice. First my guy morale was beaten by a girl! Then my intellect morale was beaten by the fact that everyone had pulled one over on me and i had no clue while everyone else saw this and laughed at my double defeat! Good times. Tushe. I am glad when we can sit back and laugh together! Even when it is at my expense! That's what friends are for!

Happening 2; We go to burger king afterwards and order the silence of the mouths meal right in the middle of the picture above. We asked for cheese on the whopper and the lady says, "I am sorry, we can't do that the meals are set." I asked, "You mean you can't charge me 40 extra cents for cheese?" i mean i know some computer systems are weird but come on!?! She said no and wouldn't do it! (if you look close on the bottom of the "Silence of the Mouths" section it says in small writing "no variations can be made to these meals." I finally saw that, but my problem was the big sign 20 times that size right next to me(sign below) that said, "Have it your way! Have a burger your way... Any Burger, Any Day." Oh yeah, for false advertisement. To the people's credit, they gave me cheese but more out of defeat and helplessness than fixing the problem.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Understanding Humanity...

The tendency to thing oneself is busier than they actually are...

The tendency to think you need more money...

The tendency to feel pressured to do more than you are human limitations allow you to be physically capable of...

The tendency to think you are all alone in your current issues...