Tuesday, 22 December 2009

More Light

...the rising sun will come to us from heaven
to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.

Luke 1:78-79

Saturday, 19 December 2009

waiting for morning

Tired feet
Crowded streets
Beating sun
Silent Apprehension
Dusty eyes
Too much to cry
Aching back
Danger lurks
Feel alone
This isn’t home
No room
No place to go
Scratchy hay
God seems far away
What will the night bring?

On the outside looking in
The darkness hovers like a blanket
Making me shiver inside
I sit on a hilltop far away
Alone with my dreams
The sheep are scattered
They cannot see me
The night is silent and heavy
Pregnant with a desperate kind of expectation
Like my land
Which cries out for rescue
My feet know well its rifts and scars
It longs to be remembered
I feel it in my bones
The night is long
When will morning come?

Driven by their fixation on a constellation
Weary wonderers plod on, plod on
Tread ahead
Don’t look back don’t look back now
We’ve come to far to turn back now
Wonderers wonder if they are insane
Pilgrims ponder if they’re half crazed
Half dazed by mirages playing out on the horizon
Fooling their imaginations
Sometimes they fear that there is nothing there.
Nothing there.

And we wait. We wait. We wait. Soul longing, heart hoping. …Aching.

Something stirs.

And then, and then and then….

A match was struck,
Phew! At once the darkness scatters out of reach.

The clouds part again. There. Stars. Pin pricks of hope in the velvety depths, mapping direction upon seemingly endless dark in which I’d lose myself.

Lighthouse shines out, a beacon of hope in the storm.

The heavens open. Glory hallelujah! All the broken land bathed in healing light.

The tips of jagged rocks turn pink as they catch the sun’s first rays of a new day. Transformed from signs of threat to signs of promise.

A NEW DAY A NEW DAY A NEW DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Night is over. Darkness has lost its power. Awake my soul, A new day! Suddenly I can see. see I am not alone.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

'Infiltrate' by Worth Dying For

I'm a part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
I have Holy Spirit power. I've stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I'm a disciple of His. I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.
My past redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.
I'm finished and done with low living, sidewalking, small planning, smooth-knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, worldly-talking, cheap-giving, and dwarf goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, position, promotion, applause, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded.
I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk by patience. I am uplifted by prayer and labour by power. My face is set. My gait is fast. My goal is Heaven. My road is narrow. My way is rough. My companions are few. My God reliable. My mission is clear.
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back, deluded, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of my adversaries, negotiate at the table of my enemy, or ponder at the pool of popularity.
I won't give up, shut up, let up, until I've stayed up, stored up, prayed up, preached up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

advent

Advent creates people, new people. We too are supposed to become new people in advent.

Look up, you whose gaze is fixed on this earth, who are spellbound by the little events and changes on the surface of the earth.

Look up to these words, you who have turned away form heaven disappointed.

Look up, you whose eyes are heavy with tears and who are crying over the fact that the earth has gracelessly torn us away.

Look up, you who, burdened with guilt, cannot lift your eyes.

Look up, your redemption is drawing near.

Something different from what you see daily will happen. Just be aware, be watchful, wait just another moment. Wait and something quite new will break over you: God will come.

(Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

piece me (from stepping beyond, 21 nov 09)

you piece me together
you take the scattered parts
and bind them, fuse them
you stitch together the patchwork shapes
the shapes with patterns that everyone else said didn't match,
you make the puzzle pieces fit when everyone else had given up

there you go
piece by piece
placing me together
shard by shard
the broken glass
takes form once again

and i like it

i am surprised because it is beautiful

and it reflects the light in one hundred different directions

Monday, 30 November 2009

wonderful weekend in Wales....







rainbows out the train window... three at once over the sea! three little gorgeous blond girls... pancakes and pine nuts... haircuts all round... old friends and new friends... fried brunch... SNOWDONIA and snow-topped mountains... rivers and trees... tasty stew... an epic night of pictionary... covenant people... beautiful voices... soup... getting drenched by icy waterfall spray... drying out by the fire... sofa time... roast dinner... rummikub... laughter... many more trains with a great travelling companion and old school tunes...




HOORAY hooray HOORAY :-)

Monday, 16 November 2009

CREATIVITY

it seems to be becoming more and more apparent just how important creativity is. Let's make space for it!

"TO COUNTER THE IMPERIAL COLONIZATION OF OUR IMAGINATIONS, WE NEED POETS, PROPHETS AND ARTISTS TO HELP US CREATE SUBVERSIVE IMAGERY THAT CHALLENGES THE REIGNING REALITY" (tom sine, 'the new conspirators' p. 91)

"... the outcome of such poetry is hope" (Walter Brueggenanm quoted in above book)

HOPE IS REALLY KEY.

autumn :-)











Saturday, 14 November 2009

FLICKR

I've just set up a Flickr account.

check it out here! :-)

'train of thought'*

WHEN DID WE ALL STOP TALKING TO EACH OTHER? how ironic. now, now that the globe can be crossed in a day, now that the the nations gather and collide in any one city station. Now that we live out our lives just 10cm of brick away from the family next door. above floor. below. cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other. we hear the bed springs creak yet don't even acknowledge each other in the hall. breathe down each other's necks on the tube and sit thigh to thigh every morning for an hour on the way to work. but do everything in our power not to make eye contact.

contact. never that.

so we're sat in a crowded room with glass walls with our earphones in, transporting us to somewhere else. somewhere other than here. simultaneously living in each others pockets and living on separate planets (where we'll update our status and tweet the day away). blocking out the sound of the stories right at our fingertips. literally. deafened to the rhythms of the heartbeats that surround us, the harmony of real lives being played out at this very moment.

think of what we could give and gain if we only wound down those imaginary windows, unlocked those expressionless doors, and asked a few questions. started a CONVERSATION.

just in this train carriage i could write down 20 new recipes, learn five new languages, discover the secret to healthy hair, pick up some gardening tips, make someone laugh, perhaps make someone cry because it's the first time anybody's listened to them all day. all year. surprise the shy and embrace the forgotten. welcome the wisdom of age and be inspired by the young.

but no.
i'll just continue sitting here writing down my thoughts with my MP3 on, casting only furtive glances at the pretty woman with dreamy eyes sat less than a metre away.
*Literally... my thoughts on a train. unedited.
having said this, in the morning I did actually have a proper "train conversation", and I am not one of those people who 'always gets into conversation', although I'd like to learn to be. Anyways chatted with a lady all the way from Brighton to London and it was really great. put a spring in my step the whole day. :-)

1001 things


i went to london yesterday to spend the day with a great friend of mine. it was good.

i like London.

i like the colours and the variety and the creativity... everywhere you look, of people, clothes, shops, buildings, food... i know there's also a lot that's not good. but it's definitely inspiring. a whole flood of images rushing before your eyes.

we went to the Photographer's Gallery near Oxford Circus. There's an exhibition on at the moment which i highly recommend. It's by Jim Goldberg and called "Open See". It's about immigration and people trafficking, with images of people and snapshots of their stories from all around the world including DRC, Greece, Ukraine, Liberia, Afghanistan. It's on until the end of January and entrance is free.

i also love a certain cafe (named 'cafe onethousandandone', hence the title of this blog post) on brick lane. there's quite cheap coffee, mango juice, big pastries, homemade cheesecake, and a bar among other treats. then you go up some steps and there's a softly lit big room full to bursting of comfy sofas and little nooks to sit in. and a "book orphanage" and interesting paintings on the walls and good music. it's my idea of ideal, really. :-)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

that Voice

i wrote this in Bolivia 3 years ago, it just resurfaced recently from the mass of pieces of paper that fill my life :-)

that voice
calls me from the desert
calls me from my lost wonderings
like His chosen people i circled going nowhere
until i heard that voice

that voice
Voice which speaks LIFE into being
where there was nothing .barreness.
an empty womb now holds a seed of hope
that will blossom as it bathes in the light of that voice
that voice
whispers tenderly.
carried on a breeze.

that voice
breaks with grief.
when they put their hands over their ears to block out the sound.
when they turn their backs and bury their heads in the sand.

BUT THAT VOICE WILL NOT BE SILENCED.

Hear it rage in the storms
in the pounding of hooves racing into battle to fight.
when that voice speaks for you,
who can stand against you?
that voice
roars in the waves.
sings with the stars.
who has ever heard anything more powerful,
powerful enough to shake the earth's foundations,
to drown out death itself?
yet if you listen closer,
you will hear beauty beyond description,
melodies that cut into the core of your being.
vibrations to unsettle you from the tunes you were dancing to before.
harmonies that beckon you to follow.
thirst for more of that voice.
that voice.
which articulated itself in flesh and bone.
mind.
emotion.
tangible.
man.
took the risk of being ignored.
hushed itself to humble whispers in a far flung corner of the earth.
that voice.
spoke healing.
challenged. provoked. wept. loved.
that voice
was crushed one dark day.
all creation moaned.
but on the third day
that voice
proclaimed
VICTORY.
and
that voice
is calling me

Saturday, 24 October 2009

still.joy.love.

Ah. it's good to STOP. breathe. in and out. be still. i have not done enough of that recently. i'm good at filling my time, mainly with people, which is not a bad thing, i love it. but suddenly batteries run low! still getting used to new rhythms and routines but i know i need to make sure these little spaces of quiet and the good kind of solitude don't get forgotten.

It's a chance to be reminded of things that are TRUE, the truths that i want to base my life upon, rather than getting carried away by the torrent of thoughts that fill my head, going in all directions and generally leaving me feeling confused and even more self-absorbed. Sometimes though, it's other people that remind you of truth, and lift your eyes off of your own circumstances and feelings. This week i was reminded about JOY. and how true Joy is not an emotion, is not temporary, like so much of what we surround ourselves with, but is so much deeper. and it is rooted in the One who does not change and who is always good. It is a gift and it gives us strength. and is found when we look UP even when everything else seems like it's crashing down.

and finally i'll leave you with another great quote from Bonhoeffer that i read this morning:

Love does not bear a grudge. It approaches others anew each day and with new love, and it forgets what has past. In this way it makes itself a fool and the object of people's mockery, but this does not drive it crazy - it just continues to love.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

DNA

I want to get back into writing regularly, it's one of those things the longer you leave it, the harder it is. So i'm just writing and seeing what thoughts spill through my finger tips. I am pondering a little on the purpose of this blog... I'm aware all these online tools can become rather self indulgent, and also very time consuming, at least this is the case for me, so i want my reasons to be good. I'd like what I post to challenge and encourage and inspire, and on a personal level for it to be a way of practising writing and being creative.

I have just begun something called DNA, which is a 10 month .... hmmm wondering what word to use... let's just say 10 months of a mixture of learning about God, and oneself, and others, and a whole range of theological and current issues, and how they intertwine. The way this is done is through both studying and being placed in a church where you get fully involved in its life. You are there predominantly to serve, and that could mean a whole range of things both practical and spiritual. In other words it is a time of intense discipleship.

What does that mean for me? Well, I am staying in Brighton at my church - Citygate. I have started to feel really at home there, like i have space to be myself, and also that despite it not having a huge congregation, there are many many people I'd like to learn from in particular with regard to the way that they creatively love God and love Brighton in a whole variety of ways. I will be spending time helping out at the different projects that are connected to the church (more on them soon). It feels like such a privilege to be able to try out different things and work in a whole range of environments. This is just what i wanted this year so i'm very content and excited about what's to come!

Friday, 25 September 2009

made me smile over breakfast :-)

"New dancing styles should be innovated for the Olympics, but coming up from the streets. So why not replace the boring national anthems for the winners, with each champion choosing their own celebratory song and dance anthem"

(Terry Monaghan 'Grabbing chance through dance', Big Issue No. 865 p.23)

Thursday, 24 September 2009

23


I'm 23 today.

wow how 22 has flown. it's been good though. really good.

:-)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

"Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God,
that shall be to you better than a light
and safer than a known way"

(written on a plaque on the wall of the cathedral in Windsor Castle)

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

a week of firsts

first time being a bridesmaid (at Adele and Larry's wedding... probably the best one i've been to so far... SO beautiful and much dancing!)

first time to live with a family that is not my own (yesterday moved in with a family from church for the year... will be a definite change in lifestyle (it's just gone 10pm and bedtime seems quite reasonable!) but a GOOD one i'm thinking)

first time to a festival (that would be BESTIVAL, tomorrow... for which i am not packed... oops. but looking forwards to it!)

life continues at what feels like a pretty non-stop pace. many very good things, but looking forwards to things slowing down soon... i hope soon... :-)

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Optimism

By nature optimism is not a view of the present situation but a living power, the power of hope where others are resigned, the power to hold ones head high when everything seems to be going wrong, the power to bear setbacks, the power never to let the future be the enemy but to lay claim to it for oneself.

Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

graduation...


...was a week or two ago now but thought i should say a word or two about it. ok, not should. there is no should. but wanted to. It was a nice day, but, kind of strange. because, nothing during my time at the university of sussex has ever been formal, so it seemed like a bit of a joke when all the professors paraded onto the stage in pantomime style robes. and everyone looked so clean and shiny! the other reason it felt a bit strange was that i only knew about 5 people well there. recognised quite a few and a whole load of them i'd never seen before! so it wasn't quite the teen-movie imagery of celebrating with all your friends with whom you've lived, eaten, studied, suffered, laughed and cried through the past few years. everyone either graduated last year or on a diffferent day because of being in different departments. which was a shame, really. but, it was good to hang out with my parents. and the our new chancellor is Sanjeev Bhaskar, of Kumars at 42 fame... which made it pretty funny. a relief since it lasted 3 hours!! but there we go. done and dusted. I AM NO LONGER A GRADUAND BUT A GRADUATE. SWEEEEEET

Friday, 31 July 2009

hooray for people

There is hardly a more gratifying feeling than to sense that one can be something for other people. Here it is not at all a question on quantity but of quality. Ultimately, human relationships are simply the most important thing in life. ... Even God himself lets us serve him in human ways. ... in life human beings are more important to us than everything else. This certainly does not mean a belittling of the world of things and material achievement. But what is the most beautiful book or picture or house or property to me compared with my parents or my friend? Naturally, only those who have really found people in their life can speak. Yet for many people today, a human being is only a part of the world of things.

Bonhoeffer.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Becky and Jared's wedding



what a week!

last week was hectic to say the least. I'm still recovering. It's funny, it was a week that influenced a lot of my thinking and planning for the summer, especially when i was thinking of travelling and not staying and working in Brighton. Why? Because this week had 2 wedddings, 1 graduation, 1 open day for stuff i want to do next year, and a camp with the youth group that I've been helping out with this year. SO... quite a lot! At first I'd been prepared to miss them all, but then felt it was actually really important to celebrate these important life events with people that i love. So i booked the week off work, started thinking about the dresses i'd need to pull out the wardrobe (!), began planning games and a talk for the youth camp and tried to get my head around where I'd need to be when (made more difficult by the fact I'm kind of living in 2 places at the moment!).



First wedding was lovely, Becky Beaumont - a friend from school and church in Oxford married Jared Carr, a tall funny American man that she met several years ago doing a DTS with YWAM. a lovely day!



Next day was the Cambridge trip and then on Monday a full day at work which left me feeling like I'd had no weekend, and no time to rest at all. Which is where things began to get difficult. The week hadn't even begun and I already felt like i just wanted to collapse in a heap. I wasn't just tired but also overwhelmed by several people around me going through hard stuff at the moment. It felt like the very most I'd be able to do was just survive THE WEEK. Which is not quite what I'd had in mind. i knew i needed to fight in order that JOY WOULD NOT BE STOLEN from the upcoming events, but felt like the last thing i could do or wanted to do was fight.



SO what can i say? except

'thank you'


thank you for friends who put their arm around you and pray and get you to read Psalm 23....



even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death

STILL you are with me

thank you for parents who give good hugs and encouragement



but most of all, thank you for Jesus. Thank you that He IS Mighty to Save. That He answers our prayers and gives strength to the weary. Thank you that there is always Hope because He defeated death.



It wasn't all easy. My bike was stolen on graduation day, i found the DNA open day really really hard, friends are still struggling, and i did feel pretty exhausted most of the time.



BUT. I got to saturday morning, the day of the second wedding and the sun was shining and i had had a good sleep on friday night and i could look back and say IT WAS GOOD.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Cambridge




OK, i'm going to try summarise, briefly, the trips I go on, for anyone who's pondering visiting some of Englands touristy bits...

starting with today (and i may backtrack when i have time)...

Cambridge. like they always say... IS JUST LIKE OXFORD! it's uncanny, actually, as someone who's lived in oxford for several years and never visited Camb before. but definitely smaller. took no time to walk around the centre.

The river is pretty and punting possibly nicer as you're quite central when you do it, more so than in oxford. There's a nice meadow bit down river from the punting station by the anchor pub. St John's chapel.... NOT worth £5!! especially when it's FULL of tourists. but that might be a personal bias. find it weird having to pay to go in a church, and although the building is very impressive, i wonder how many people connect with God there...

if i sound slightly on the negative side it may be due to some overly typical english weather... heavy showers all day! all part of the experience i told the students....

Friday, 17 July 2009

The Lion

"Who are you?"

“Myself”, said the Voice, very deep and low so that the earth shook: and again, “Myself”, loud and clear and gay, and then the third time, “Myself”, whispered so softly you could hardly hear it, and yet it seemed to come from all round you as if the leaves rustled with it.

Shasta was no longer afraid that the Voice belonged to something that would eat him, nor that it was the voice of a ghost. But a new and different sort of trembling came over him. Yet he felt glad too.

The mist was turning from black to grey and from grey to white. This must have begun to happen some time ago, but while he had been talking to the Thing he had not been noticing anything else. Now, the whiteness around him became a shining whiteness and his eyes began to blink. Somewhere ahead he could hear birds singing. He knew the night was over at last. He could see the mane and ears and head of his horse quite easily now. A golden light fell on them from the left. He thought it was the sun.

He turned and saw, pacing beside him, taller that the horse, a Lion. It was from the Lion that the light came. No one ever saw anything more terrible or beautiful…. After one glance at the Lion’s face he slipped out of the saddle and fell at its feet. He couldn’t say anything but then he didn’t want to say anything, and he knew he needn’t say anything.

The High King above all Kings stooped toward him. Its mane, and some strange and solemn perfume that hung around the mane, was all round him. He lifted his face and their eyes met. Then instantly the pale brightness of the mist and the fiery brightness of the Lion rolled themselves into a swirling glory and gathered themselves up and disappeared. He was alone with the horse on a grassy hillside under a blue sky. And the birds were singing.

From Chapter 11 of 'The horse and his boy' by CS Lewis.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

"WORK"

It's been a while. the reason: not a lack of things to say, but FULL TIME EMPLOYMENT. yes yes, that brief interlude of endless free time is over, the diary is back to being full again and sleep time is precious. BUT, as much as it sometimes feel like it's taking over life a little (early mornings, evenings, weekends, etc all feature on the schedule), I am so very grateful for the job because it feels like it fits me pretty good, or i fit it, or something.

So, what is it? Well, I'm working on campus (and also living there, which is a little strange seeing as i no longer study here and it's been 3 years since i lived here...) for the Language Institute as part of the social programme team for the international students that come here for the summer to learn english. Which so far means, quite a lot of office time putting together posters, plans and itineraries, making bookings and plenty of photocopying... all of which isn't the funnest but is good experience i guess, and then taking people on trips and social events. To be more specific it's been taking a really fun group of Spanish primary school teachers to Hampton Court, Bath, Stonehenge, and a beautiful walk by Seven Sisters (photos to come) and then going to the pub last night with all the new arrivals who are from all over the world really. As you might guess, pretty fun! And as a bonus I've been able to practice my Spanish and get to know plenty of great people, including those i'm working with everyday. So, yes i feel very privilged to have to job!

I really like working with international students, i'd even say it brings me alive. I guess i feel like I have something to offer just by the fact that I am from here, that I know the place and that I speak English. So just by welcoming someone, or explaining something, or speaking slowly so that they can understand, you can make a difference to someone's experience here. Whereas around English people perhaps i feel there's more expectation - like you have to be specially interesting or funny or clever in order to make a mark, or to fit in even. Which I know suggests I'm looking at things the wrong way, and I am hoping to learn not to think like that and to be OK with just being myself in all situations, but that's just me being honest. But yeh it's encouraging to feel like this is the right place to be right now. :-)

anyways i am in the office and i should be making restaurant bookings for the "scandinavian social" next week, so that's all for now folks!

Friday, 26 June 2009

done it!

i have a degree!!! a 'two-one' in Anthropology with Spanish from the University of Sussex.

yehhhhhhhhhhhhhh baaaaaaaaaby. very relieved and pleased and thankful. :-)

Monday, 22 June 2009

clouds

How often do we look up at the clouds? And appreciate their detail…
Countless hues and everchanging shapes and forms
Capture our imagination and allow us to dream.
When will you pause to look up at me?
When will you still your busy ways?
And let your breath be taken away by my mystery and beauty.
To see me in ways you’ve never seen me before.
Let me surprise you
.

And he saw a cloud the size of a man’s fist over the sea.
A dot on the horizon bursting with promise of a new season.
But he had to go and look for it seven times before he saw it.
Are you willing to keep on searching?
Will you look for me again and again and again?
Will you fix your eyes on my promises and dare to dream?

Clouds they bring the rain.
Yes, yes they bring the rain.
I will rain down on this dry and thirsty land
I will cause rivers to flow again
I will make new life grow
I will quench your thirst
I will wash away your hurt

You call out to me but when I come will you let yourself be drenched

or will you curse the clouds?
Will you tell me “that’s enough”, “too much”...
Will you put up your umbrellas and hide away?
Because I am not safe.
I am wild and I will shake things up.
You cannot remain unchanged when you surrender yourselves to me.
So will you take the risk?
Will you welcome the clouds and dance in the rain?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

hospitality, friends, west wittering

it's been a while. I keep having lots to say and not knowing where to start so not saying anything. So i thought i'd just start typing and see what happens. It seems to work when writing emails... they always end up being longer and more open than i might have intended. It's been just over a week since i finished university, although feels like longer. which surprises me a little, not sure why. I am still feeling pretty tired, although not exhausted like i was last week, when the smallest thing seemed like a huge effort, including just hanging out with friends. which is why i felt apprehensive about 7 girls coming with me to stay in my late grandparents' house in West Wittering. I love to have people over, I love to gather people together and I think hospitality is really important. but for some usually non existent reason i often get stressed about it, which i hate. i worry about... well i don't really know. and i know worrying don't get you nowhere... so basically just hoping its something i will 'grow out of'. Sometimes just need someone to tell me to chill!

so back to West Wittering, thanks to the prayers of some friends, and to the fact that the girls who came are actually all just amazing, we had a wonderful weekend! i think it was just what everyone needed. we chilled, laughed, cooked big meals, painted in the garden, ate chocolate cake amongst the roses, watched cheesy DVDs, played in the sand and swam in the sea. happy days. and i remembered why we are friends. which is always good...! shame on me for ever questionning it, i think the main reason was that over the last few months there's always been that academic stress hanging over us and conversations dominated by study, which i never particularly enjoyed talking about. so to be able to just enjoy each others company in one of the most beautiful spots in England was certainly a treat.

am continuing the trend of catching up with friends and chilling over the next week or two before i start full time work. Which i think i'll be ready for. after all if the current pace of life wasn't unusual it wouldn't be so special i guess.... although rest and people i hope will always be priorities in my life, whatever else i'm doing.

ahhh see, the words just spill out once i start typing. :-) till next time...

Sunday, 31 May 2009

a great saturday


good sleep
hot sun
blue sky
cinnamon and raisin bagel
an old CD (rnb/garage compilation from 2001)
lunch in the garden
beach
corona
a new friend
long conversations
bicycling
cooking
pub with friends ("juice and coffee please")
a good (free) dance

mmm. :-)

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

the big church day out



well the name of the event is pretty self-explanatory...

but to be more precise, this sunday, over 14,000 people gathered from different churches and different denominations, from all over the country and beyond, in the beautiful sussex countryside under a blue sky and warm sun to CELEBRATE ALL THAT IS GOOD. this was the motto of the day and one i'd like to apply to my life.

i was privileged to be able to help out since a friend was pretty much organising the whole thing. My role was to help welcome the artists/performers/speakers as they arrived... who included Diane Louise Jordan (yesss! my favourite ex-blue peter presenter!), Pete Greig, Steve Chalke, Delerious? (the main band of the event), and a whole variety of musical groups that performed at one of the three venues. i think i prefer being on the "serving" side, as you get a better picture of what's going on and it makes it all more real. so we were there from 7:30am until 1am, which made for a long day but not too strenuous to be honest and being mainly outside in amazing weather made me very happy! there was a really good, chilled atmosphere, with people of all ages and backgrounds.

it felt quite surreal, like a bubble of good vibes... but the point is not that this was just a 'nice day out' , but a prophetic statement of unity between churches in the UK, acknowledging that in Jesus we are family. The church, and by that i mean all people who follow Jesus, is the BODY of Christ - it doesn't make any sense that a body should be so divided. A body is made up of different parts with different roles but those parts need each other. They cannot function alone. Yet so often you find congregations or individuals isolating themselves from the body. Which is pretty much equivalent to self-multilation. Or we hear the different parts discouraging each other because they are doing things differently. But maybe this is necessary in a world full of such variety. Maybe it's OK that we don't all look the same, that we don't all prioritise the same things. Can we not still stand together and celebrate the good, and stand against the bad. The bad not being the kind of songs we sing or clothes we wear, but more like injustice, treating some people as if they are worth less than others, exclusion, selfishness and greed... then, change might begin to happen.
anyways. it was a good day. :-)

Thursday, 21 May 2009

beautiful sunset!



God didn't have to make sunsets so beautiful. the light could have just gone off like a light switch. but it doesn't. and they are amazing! THANK YOU!!

let me not remain silent

"is there not an atmosphere of carelessness and godlessness in which we simply can't find the right word and remain silent? Aren't we often enough silenced by false shyness and timidity? Warning and admonition remain unspoken; comfort and concern are denied. How torturously and anxiously does the name of Jesus Christ sometimes come our of our mouth! It takes a great deal of spiritual experience and practise, and at the same time childlike confident faith, to be able to tell "all the ordinances" of God with one's lips without getting into a spiritual rut or becoming an apostle of custom or an insistent chatterbox. Our whole heart must belong to the word of God before we can also learn to put our lips entirely into the service of Jesus Christ"

more Bonhoeffer!! :-)

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

300, 3, 16000

Wooooo

Welcome to my 300th post! Wow that's quite a lot of posts for a 1 and a half and a bit year old blog (started september 2007 i believe).

All i really wanted to say is, 3 weeks left of studentdom. HOO-RAY. i am so ready to be outta there.

this time next week my 16,000 words of dissertations will be done and dusted. actually, i already have more than enough words, it's just making them make sense. hmmmm

LOTS to do, but,

WORRYING WON'T ADD ANOTHER HOUR TO THE DAY

i love how common sense the Bible is [sometimes].

however, typing slightly aimlessly on my blog WILL subtract valuable time. so that's all folks for today.

Friday, 8 May 2009

simple

We have been silent witnesses to evil deeds. We have been washed with many waters and have learned the arts of pretence and ambiguous speech. Through experience we have become mistrusting of people and often have not been truthful and honest with them. Through unbearable conflicts we have become worn out and perhaps even cynical – are we still useful?

We will need not geniuses, not cynics, not misanthropes, not refined tacticians, but plain, simple, straightforward people. Will our inner power of resistance against what is forced upon us remain strong enough and our uprightness against ourselves ruthless enough for us to find again the path to simplicity and straightforwardness?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

bright(on) lights


the fun fair on the level, and "fire smoke and mirrors" in queen's park

Monday, 4 May 2009

i puzzle

is it just me,
or do i not quite fit anywhere?

OR,
is it just YOU

and,
there was never any jigsaw to begin with?

Friday, 24 April 2009

eclectic

i wish my glasses wouldn't make those red marks on either side of my nose. it makes me feel more geeky. i don't know what's happened, because they never used to. maybe my nose grew?

"wearing barefeet" doesn't make sense. but anyways, i love it. i love to feel the ground that i am walking on. i love to curl my toes around grass or sand. i love the way they slap against warm concrete and gingerly dance over stones. i wish my heels weren't so 'cracked' but at the same time i'm quite proud of my leathery soles. it makes me feel more hardcore.

hooray for good conversations that satisfy. hooray for people who listen and give you time to formulate the mass of thoughts into just about intelligible sentences, and 'get it'.

my friends have moved into a house down the road. i LOVE it that i can see my house from theirs. i wish a whole load of friends lived in my street. i do like my street. there's always kids out playing, people sat out in their front gardens, a daily ice-cream van. we can sit on the pavement in front of our house and eat lasagne and it's OK.

i'm almost enjoying writing one of my dissertations. that might be because it's about breakdancing and 'research' involves watching breaking films on youtube. yesss. in three weeks i will have hopefully handed it, and the other one in. THREE weeks! woohoooo.
better get back to it.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

people...

...are amazing. don't you think?
I love it how we are all so different
i love how 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth make a unique combination on every face
i love how none of us are quite the same shade
i love accents and phrases and slang

i love to get a glimpse of how each person views the world
i love it when people get really excited about something
i love it how different things capture our attention and imagination
i love how there's always more to know about someone
i love how just seeing someone or hearing their voice can make you smile
i love how you can recognise a friend from a great distance just by the way they walk

and we're all walking different paths
with different dreams
yet suddenly we find ourselves shoulder to shoulder
sharing the journey
laughing talking and crying together
side by side we can lie there
saying everything in our silence
feeling closer than brothers

breathing the same air
seeing the same stars
warmed by the same sun
why do we build walls around ourselves?
because there's so much more to live and love and learn
if only we let each other in

Thursday, 16 April 2009

the end is nigh

  • half of the people on facebook have statuses that read something along the lines of "1300 down, 6,700 to go" (in my case it's a little more than that to go... :-S)
  • I've updated my myspace profile after a year or two of not logging in and deleted other networking accounts
  • i'm in touch with people i haven't spoken to in years
  • my desk is covered in chocolate wrappers and empty mugs
  • i am writing a blog entry even though i have nothing major to say
  • everyday i have a new idea of what i want to do next year and subsequently avoid study by researching these ideas
  • i check my emails every 3 minutes
  • going for runs and baking suddenly are really quite attractive activities

IT MUST BE DISSERTATION TIME

Saturday, 11 April 2009

spacious life

"Dear, dear [friends], I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way... Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!"

2 Cor 6 (message version)

Friday, 10 April 2009

Ezekiel 1:28. WOW.

"Like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the radiance around him".