Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Awake!

Come come my lover
Come come come away with me
Come come come run with me
Run with me further than you ever thought you…WE… could go
Ohh run run with me my darling
Hand in hand we will stride out
Taking new territory
Chasing away the darkness

You don’t believe me

You have stopped believing in impossible dreams.

Fix your eyes on me
Look into my eyes and see and see and see
That WITH ME
All things all things all things
(nothing can separate)
All things all things all things
(everything you need)
All things all things all things
(dare to dream, oh, dare to dream)
All things all things all things
(Put all your hope in me)
All things all things all things
ARE POSSIBLE.

I knock on the door
And I won’t give up on you
And I will wait for you in eager anticipation
The groom awaits his bride
And I will pursue you
Shower you with gifts from above
And I will run to you
When you call my name
And I’ll come in gladly to sit at your table and eat with you

Listen!
I am calling you
Beckoning you
A voice in the wilderness drawing you near
My dear my dear my dear
HAVE NO FEAR

Awake awake o sleeper
Awake awake o sleeper


The wild bells ring out
Now is the time
To arise and shine
Now is the time
To dance and sing and shout

Awake awake o sleeper

Shake off the lethargy
Shake off the timidity
I have made you a ROARING LION
Don’t be afraid to use your voice
I am the roar in you and the world needs to hear it
The world needs to hear
Because that roar it will shake foundations,
It will break down walls,
It will burst open cage doors
Allowing the birds to fly free
Oh join them flying free
Into the space
See
it awaits
it beckons
it calls

Katrina Pike
(November 2010)

Monday, 29 November 2010

Monday, 15 November 2010

Good.

It's been a good weekend. Hopefully, a turning point, or rather, a 'lifting' point - from a few weeks of head down-feeling low-and wrapped up in me-dark times. Funny how those times come and they go, only when we're in the midst of it seems like they might last forever. And nothing's changed particularly, but i guess i don't feel so alone anymore, after some good friend-times and reading-times and perhaps that gives more strength to face the day, and the night, and to wait with hope rather than dread, and to pursue truth and hold on to it. rather than letting the lies steal away joy, steal away parts of me that are meant to be, steal away the light.

So, it really is just one day at a time. and maybe Sunday evenings are easier than Monday mornings but that's OK. we'll deal with tomorrow when it comes. do our best to live in the present. even if the present feels like Nothing, let's not give up.

So good things this weekend...

* Going up to London... I love it every time, I'd really like to live there... I know a lot of people say that but there's just something about it I love and want to experience more of. I like the chaos, the justaposition, the colour, the variety and repetition combined, the rawness, the creativity, the big, the unknown... It's also nice just to have a break from Brighton.

* Hanging out with Joy, a good friend of mine who I don't see enough of. Bare chats, and chilling, and lie-in, and lazing, and lunch out. Sweet.

* Stacy Makishi performing at Brixton Library - I met Stacy when doing the event at the Southbank Centre. Her 'Live Art' - which I'd say is like a one-girl-show, a mixture of prose, physical theatre and props (this time, hundreds of ping pong balls and chocolate cake!) is thoughtful, thought-provoking, funny honest and memorable.

* Pub with friends who instantly know you're not OK, and let you be you, and listen, and love you. Nuff said.

* New books!! I forget how much I like reading, and how much impact books can have. This weekend been reading
'The Fifth Figure' by Jean 'Binta' Breeze,
'On Writing' by Stephen King,
'The Poet, The Warrior, The Prophet' by Rubem A. Alves
and Psalm 130 by King David!
...all honest and inspiring and beautiful in different ways...

* Bonfire, food, and fireworks in our garden with some great people. Treat! Even if the fireworks were a bit lame. The homemade bread and butter pudding made up for it! woohoo!

There is lots to be thankful for. :-)

Thursday, 28 October 2010

tired of feeling restless, hovering in between seasons. Yet. unwilling to settle. unready? scared of any sense of long-term. yet hungering for stability. but not really. i don't think. i don't know. frustrated by my not-knowing. annoyed by the fuzziness in my brain.

always, thinking about what's next. and not what's NOW. feeling like i've had enough and yet that i've barely even begun. here. same place but different faces. i miss hanging out with people who've known me for more than two years. we won't ever really go back to how things were. only in my imagination.

YET, i do belong, and i do have a place, places. even if i don't see it. i have worked hard, to know and be known. and there has been progress. i do know a whole selection of unique and brilliant people. i am not alone. slowly our lives are intertwining. i have a room with a beautiful view and there's been some awesome sunrises recently. i can see the sea as i walk to work(s). there's still plenty more to see...

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Highlights from Something I Said?


OK these are just a few personal highlights from a very hectic but GOOD weekend!!

Working with a fantastic group of people - the Tilt Team, the Southbank Centre Staff and the performers. Matching faces to email-names was really good. Much prefer face to face contact!

Walking along the Thames in winter sun to 'work' in my skirt and boots and feeling all 'grown up'

Luke Kennard falling off the stage. Harsh, I know, but it was good to laugh.

Jokes with Mike Ladd, Juice Aleem and Stacey Makishi in the green room

The Zumba taster...!

Hearing author Maggie Gee talk about reasons for writing

Meeting and hearing from such established poets such as Amiri Baraka, Jean 'Binta' Breeze, Michael Horowitz - and realising how central art can be to revolution.

David J on the microphone, he got skills! and a message...

Aruba Red and band - amazing!


Meeting so many people who are passionate about both the written and spoken word, and being inspired...

Monday, 18 October 2010

Something I Said?




So the internship I am doing at the moment is with Tilt - 'spoken word pioneers' - who are curating this whole weekend of top quality events and performers. I'll be there all weekend helping out, looking forwards to it! Get yourself there if you can!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Sunny Saturday Mornings


Silver Foxes


Yesterday I spent the day filing silver foxes. Or in other words, I was helping make jewellery for my housemate Becky, who has her own business. She makes some really GREAT stuff in a cute workshop she shares with several other artists. Check out her website here! I love how her pieces do really tell stories.
I'm going to be working for her instead of paying rent, since she needs help and i have no money. I think it's a fab idea!! :-) we should have more money-less exchanges going in life i think...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

poetry and prostitution...

Ah my head is spinning! Life is RAAAAAAANDOM. In just three days I've worked a day at Pre-school, checked out a homeless drop-in, been promoting spoken word events and done some work for Citylight, a project that works with women involved in prostitution. This morning i was alternating between calling up women from the Friday ads to tell them about the support that Citylight can offer, and creating Facebook events for well established poets. crazy.

anyways more on all these things, like Citylight and poetry, SOON.

Cuz they r good innit.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Brighton Photo Fringe

Definitely recommend taking a peep in the old Co-op building on London Road, which is exhibiting several photographers.

Especially liked Viviane Sassen's work, her colour and compositions are very striking.

llewellyn




Saturday, 9 October 2010

Glory

'The whole earth is filled with His glory'...

LIKE, that slice of golden sunlight which overtook the purple wedge of cloud, casting a warm glow across hill
tops and tips
of leaves.

OR, the dew drops clutching lacy spider webs,
bejewelled strands lavishly draping straight lined hedgerows.

Birds that greet the morning with a song.

BUT, could we be
splinters of your laughter,
small fragments of your glory
scattered over the earth?

Maybe
you threw back your head in delight at what you had created,
clapped your hands with joy,
and, as a million more stars shot into the heavens like sparks from an anvil,
we were filled with your life, your breath.

And we move to the rhythm of the swaying grass
the pounding waves
the rise and set of sun.
for in all things there is heard the echoes of your heartbeat
so we dance, we dance.

And could the seas be
great pools of your tears?
tears of love so deep we'll never reach the bottom.
and this love it overwhelms us
it draws us
beckons us with its ceaseless lapping upon the shores.
stretches off to distant horizons.
and we paddle, wade, dive, play, float in it.

Love.


Sunday, 3 October 2010

design

time for a change of colour on the old blog me thinks... will try things out till i settle again :-)


i think this yellow may be a little TOO bright! ah well, let it brighten up your day for now...

character

"I've wondered, though, if one of the reasons we fail to acknowledge the brilliance of life is because we don't want the responsibilty inherent in the acknowledgement. We don't want to be characters in a story because characters have to move and breathe and face conflict with courage. And if life isn't remanrkable, then we don't have to do any of that; we can be unwilling victims rather than grateful participants".

'A million miles in a thousand years' by Donald Miller (p.59)

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Saturday ponderations

Today i woke up with 'Miss American Pie' in my head. Why? Not that it's a bad song to have in your head.

I especially like the bit

and i know that you're in love with him
for I saw you dancing in the gym
you both kicked off your shoes
and i dig those rhythmy blues...

i love old Don's lyrics, they're so much more interesting than a lot of songs on the radio 'these days'. (haha i sound old!) i feel like it's full of suggestions of all these other stories going on, which we can only guess at and wish we knew a little more. I also wish i knew how to spell rhythm/rythm/rhthym.

TODAY, also, i watched three episodes of Wife Swap USA. it is mental, but fascinating, and addictive! i barely ever watch TV so this definitely felt like a bit of a binge. and i felt guilty, slightly. I know it's good to rest, and i am grateful for a day with no set plans, but it also makes me feel a bit like i've thrown some hours away. i told myself i was picking up tips on marriage and child-raising for future reference. whatever katrina.

TODAY, it rained. I don't want to be yet another person who complains about the weather, and it's made me realise how little it has rained recently, but it really does make me feel YUK. It makes me want to run away from this grey island. I walked over the golf course and it made me think of period dramas when the girl walks over the wild moors and its all desolate and dramatic (except i wasn't in a beautiful dress but too-big wellies and an anorak that belonged to my great aunt) and some people like this bleakness but i'd much rather it was summer all the time.

TODAY, maybe partly because of the rain, I was in one of my RESTLESS moods that creep up on me now and then and i've never figured out quite why or what to do about them. It sits mainly in my stomach and makes me clench my fists. They make me want to shout, scream, punch something, throw paint at a wall, hit a drum loudly, escape to somewhere other than here but not sure where...

TODAY, I also feel nostalgic. But for weird things, like dancing in the living room with friends to RnB, perfecting our hip movements. And for passing notes. Kind of secondary school things. Hmm... and things connected with Zambia like the flower that you only smell at night, and being able to see lots of stars. Maybe it's also to do with wanting to escape, this focus on the past, and also thoughts on the future and what it holds. When the best i can do is actually be here being myself, giving what i can, being thankful for what i have, right now, TODAY.

So.... TODAY, also, I enjoyed being held by a boy i love, and had a cup of tea with my cousin who makes the best cups of tea, and made fairy cakes with my friend who's more like my sister, and spoke to an actual sister on the phone and she is happy, and i wore my new hat, and it's my Dad's birthday, and he is the reason i ever knew the lyrics to 'Bye bye Miss American Pie' in the first place.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

favourite things from birthday weekend!


friends bringing me breakfast * croissants! * "whose line is it anyway?" * kisses * walking about Brighton with my camera and no hurry * jumping photos! * cheese straws from Aldi * crabbes! (ginger beer beer) * friends in the living room * conversations * red stripe * laughing at silly things * realising i've got to know some brilliant people in the last year or so * sunny mornings * collecting eggs from chickens in the garden * bunches of flowers * sister and hub coming to visit * cuckmere valley and its gorgeous meandering river (for all you geographers out there) * don carlos spanish restaurant in the south lanes * olives * stepping beyond * dancing * baileys chocolates * more family coming down and more squishing in the living room * presents and cake! * testimonies * wedding photos * scrambled egg * curling up with younger sister on the sofa * sea * my church family * baptisms...

Up

Set your mind on things above

Like…

LOVE. When your feet are barely touching the ground


Like…

Bubbles that catch the breeze,
Float off out of sight,
Shiny oily spheres of rainbows reflecting

And I
defy gravity
I
Run upwards
I
Run past clouds
They scatter as I push through
I’m not looking back
The ground is far behind

He has given me wings and I’ll fly with Him

Fly with me, come fly, come fly, away…

But, not away
TOWARDS
Towards the place where He is.

Fingers strain upwards
Up on toes
I reach I reach I reach
But not in my own strength
No
I am lifted up
Up up up up
Shaking off earthly ties that hold me down

With Him,
the Morning Star,
I rise.


(written at 'Stepping Beyond' 25 sept 2010)

Monday, 27 September 2010

"Magnify"

Went to the 24-7 Prayer International Gathering in Edinburgh last weekend. It was great to see old friends and make new ones, and share stories with people from all over the world. We were encouraged and also challenged on many levels. Might say more on it another time but just wanted to point you to a post by Brian Heasley which sums up what i felt too...

right HERE :-)

24



things that make me feel more 'grown up', now that i am 24...

  • receiving two bunches of flowers and two pot plants in the space of two days, (and they are not dead yet!)
  • presents from people very close to me were a bicycle basket and a book of 50 walks in sussex, which made me very happy
  • i also received a 'grown up' handbag, or at any rate it is more grown up than the black rucksack I've had for 3 years that makes me look like a European teenager (although i will keep using it for most things i'm sure!!)
  • i looked after the chickens for the weekend... feeding, collecting eggs, cleaning the sh*t tray, etc... and they are also, like the flowers, still alive. phew!

Friday, 10 September 2010

Aslan's call

"Aslan threw up his shaggy head, opened his mouth, and uttered a long single note; not very loud, but full of power. Polly's heart jumped out of her body when she heard of it. She felt sure that it was a call, and that anyone who heard that call would want to obey it and (what's more) would be able to obey it, however many worlds and ages lay between".

'The Magician's Nephew' by C.S. Lewis (p.127)

Saturday, 4 September 2010

food.

i'm not gonna lie. i REALLY like food.

thought i'd just share some recent highlights of culinary experiences, because... it's good to share. haha!

the other week: mashed potato plus mashed sweet potato WITH pork sausages cooked with onion (cooked till soft and sweet) in apple juice.

last night: Potato wedges (potatoes that we'd just DUG out the garden of the new place i'm living. VERY exciting!!), spinach (also grown in the garden) cooked with garlic, then with added slices of chorizo. mmm mmm!! served with olives, moroccan style hummous and home-brewed elderberry wine. i can't take the credit for all the home-grown foods - thanking new housemates for that!!

this morning: scrambled eggs with more spinach&garlic plus smoked salmon, all mixed up together.

TASTY!!

other food thoughts:
garlic is brilliant.
dry plain potatoes are not (in my opinion).
budget eating doesn't have to be boring!!!!!

quotes that make me smile

Her suitcases were stuffed with .... and Marks and Spencer underwear - the essence, quintessance, of Englishness as she understood it. Surely the queen donned this superior hosiery:

She was solid. It was solid
She was plain. It was plain.
She was strong. It was strong.
She was no-nonsense. It was no-nonsense.
They prevailed.

***

"No fruit dies so vile and offensive a death as the banana. In case of What? Jemu shouted silently to his mother"

***

both quotes from 'The Inheritance of Loss' by Kiran Desai

Sunday, 29 August 2010

endings


another season has come to an end. Just had our final DNA residential up in Inverness. I have never been that far north before. It took about 17 hours from Brighton to final destination - a community hall in a very rural community about half an hour from Inverness. Most of that was spent on a megabus, attempting to sleep and mainly failing... so it definitely felt like we'd come a long way!! But it was REALLY good to be in Scotland (despite it being very definitely colder and meeting the local midge residents!) and we had a great time together, reflecting on the year and enjoying being together as a group for the last time. it's been a journey for sure, this year. and its important to remember the good things. because there have been many and it's easy to forget... easy to doubt that things have changed, that we have grown, that we have taken steps forwards.


the next steps are still quite unknown, but i'm taking one day at a time. which is totally fine. hoping for some rest in september, and time to think and pray on what's next...

feeling lost

"Jesus?" he whispered as his voice choked. "I feel so lost".

A hand reached over and squeezed his, and didn't let go. "I know. But it's not true. I am with you and I'm not lost. I'm sorry it feels that way, but hear me clearly. You are not lost".

from 'The Shack' by WM Paul Young (p.114)

Saturday, 21 August 2010

burgers, braids and bouncy castles

well it's the last weekend of the gap-year-thing i've been doing. crazy!! i can't believe it's been almost a year, well 11 months, since i started. this isn't a reflective post... no time for that yet! and no chance to really stop and ponder. hopefully in september..... yeh this summer has been very hectic, with one thing leading straight into another - actually like the whole year has been then! and there's been so many good things but hardly time to process or appreciate them. (i hate how tiredness makes me see things from a less positive perspective). i guess that's reflected in my blog, i haven't written nearly as much as i would have liked, especially as there's been plenty of things to write about. i have lists of potential posts scattered around my room, but i know realistically they are unlikely to ever come into existence.

HOWEVER, i would like to mention what i was up to last week, as it was one of the hardest things i've done this year i think (still recovering). I helped out on something called "Re:act" in Warrington (between Manchester and Liverpool for those who, like me, had no clue!) which was run by Urban Saints and the local Youth for Christ team. Add in 9 DNA-ers (myself included) and about 30 or 40 teenagers, all staying in the same church building - which used to be an old people's home!! after quite an intense weekend of training we then set out to put on a free family fun day, complete with BBQ, bouncy castles, sports, facepainting, and great live music on a big stage by people from Nexus and a hiphop group called MJK (make Jesus known). ALL FOR FREE for the local community. and not just once, but 6 days in a row, in 6 different areas of Warrington!

so a day would include:
  • setting up marquees (never want to see our disable gazebo again, which was mainly held up by gaffa tape each day)

  • manning the inflatables (which got interesting when on one day the power kept failing!)


  • painting hundreds of faces (definitely improved over the week... on the first day a few kids were traumatised by their reflections and may have wiped tiger-attempts straight off... o dear!)
  • braiding many little girls' hair (difficult in wind!)
  • eating a whole load of burgers (they were really tasty though thankfully!)
  • chatting with people and offering to pray for them
  • dancing like mad people to MJK's choons
  • then packing everything down at the end of the day!!!

so not surprisingly we were pretty tired by the end. But it was so great to put on a quality event totally for free, and to represent local churches in a range of different communities. Everyone worked really hard and it was a privilege to get to know the young people from the area as well as others who came from further afield to help out.

crazy the things i've ended up doing this year that i never would have done otherwise. but i guess that was part of the point!!!

and now to enjoy a chilled saturday :-) before the final trip next week - up to inverness, on a bus, oh yehhhh....

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

loss

my friends lost their mum this week. all of a sudden. it's such a shock. life. it's so fragile although we like to pretend it's not. pretend we'll last forever, without passing through death, without separation. death is often just a rumour in this country. a hazy thought we give little attention to. as if we have some invisible armour making us invincible. and then it rudely awakens us. to the fact that we don't know what will happen tomorrow. it's like a knife, the shock, cutting right to the heart. i know that sounds cliche but it does feel just like that. our hearts ache for our friends. and we have no words.

but here's to Mrs Josephine Tackie-Oblie. A beautiful graceful woman who always wore a smile as she welcomed us warmly into her heart and home.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Exile

At our last "two day block" of DNA, James Treasure - who is one of the best Bible teachers I know, gave a talk on Exile and how, alongside Exodus, it is one of the main themes of the Old Testament. Since then have been thinking quite a lot about Exile, and how much it does feature in our lives, in our walk with God and with other people. I think it's really important to acknowledge this - that there are times when we feel, or are, on the 'outside', separated from the familiar, having to work out new ways to connect and to live out our faith. Anyways, here are some of my thoughts collated into some kind of poem-y thing! :-)

Exile.

Judah has gone into Exile
She dwells among the nations
She finds no resting place

One day I wake and find I that suddenly I don’t belong
Suddenly everything I was sure of seems to be a distant memory

A foreigner in my own town
A stranger in my own land
What makes it my own?
What makes a place a home?
Birth, blood, or something beyond?

Foxes have holes and birds have nests
But the Son of Man has nowhere for His head to rest

Will we follow?
Will we follow?
Will we follow?

To a place of non belonging?
To a lack of home.
To a restless wondering.
To incredible weakness
and dependence on others.

Will we lose even our name, that the only name that matters can be stamped on our hearts?
Will we GO? Cross borders and travel to the margins and beyond?
And STAY, in that uncomfortable place of straddling worlds, wrestling with our identity, laying down and taking up and counting the cost.
And then perhaps return
Changed
And find ourselves in a different kind of exile. One we were not expecting.

Maybe it doesn’t matter how we got here
Maybe it doesn’t even matter that we were there
Maybe what matters is the seeking
That we don’t give up and despair
Even if I make my bed in the depths
You are there

When everything that we linked to the presence of God disappears…
How will we worship?
And how will we pray?
When all is stripped away
What do our hearts say?
Is there a deeper truth to be found buried beneath our rites and rituals
That may have lost their meaning
Diverted into religion, when we forgot our first love

When we find the old answers do not fit the questions that now burn on our lips
Will we look beyond the walls and discover something priceless?
A new glimpse of mystery, hear the whisper that urges us to step into deeper water, because nothing in the shallows seems worth the safety any more.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

following Jesus

"And there is still the same call to go wherever, to do whatever He asks - no safety nets except relationship with Him and others. The initial excitement of not knowing where to go, what to do, soon wears off and becomes the greater confidence that He knows and that whatever it looks like it is OK. The joy of walking free, of going to the limits that He sets, of following Him into a new day is good. It is the way He wasted His time with the poor and powerless, pouring His life away in prayer with His Father, praying for the sick, teaching the crowds, eating in a home, walking establishing the kingdom in power and proclamation - this is really good".

from 'Wild Wandering' by Karen Lowe (p.76)

challenged!!!!!

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

dancing on the street/hill/castle!




made for

He is the crack in the wall that lets in a shaft of light, illuminating my deepest desires, my longing that refuses to be satisfied. He is the oasis in the desert, drops of water that refresh my parched throat, dried up from its desperate pleas. Drops of water that lead to a gushing stream, a mighty river. I can hear the waters roaring even though I cannot see it yet. And I can hear whispers in the in the wind that encourage my heart to keep beating, because I am not alone. And I see sparks of colour pulsating beneath the covering of grey. Dancing figures in the mist. Hundreds of hints, suggestions that reassure my body and soul that there is more.

YES YES YES THERE IS MORE!!

I am not made to live in black and white. I am made for vibrant colour.
I am not made for darkness. I am a daughter of light.
I am not made to run on empty. I am made to be filled, to pour out, and to be filled again.
I am not made to walk alone. I am made for community – united by love unconditional.
I am not made for one dimensional living. I am made for life in all its fullness.
I am not made to be trapped by fear into non-moving, non-speaking existence. I am made to be free. Free to dance and free to sing with all that I am and more.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Glad i have friends who...

Glad i have friends who will swim in the sea
Glad i have friends who will dance in the street
Glad i have friends who have holes in their clothes and don't think anything of it
Glad i have friends with bicycles, not cars
Glad i have friends who are still wearing clothes they had when they were 14
Glad i have friends who don't really know what's happening next
Glad i have friends who have seen a lot of the world but aren't ready to settle yet
Glad i have friends who stay up drinking tea, musing about life
Glad i have friends who are willing to share toothbrushes (!)
Glad i have friends who always have a space on a floor/sofa/bed for a tired friend
Glad i have friends who want to make a difference in the world
Glad i have friends who always try to make the most of each day
Glad i have friends who are quick to laugh and not ashamed to cry
Glad i have friends who don't take themselves too seriously
Glad i have friends who love

Friday, 25 June 2010

sometimes

sometimes everything feels a little uncertain. sometimes it feels like the ground is slipping away from beneath my feet. sometimes everything is a little blurry. sometimes this lack of clarity excites me. sometimes it feels like a great adventure, an enticing mystery. but sometimes, frankly, it sucks.
sometimes i am filled with excitement at the thought that perhaps life isn't mapped out as rigidly as i once believed. sometimes i am so thankful at the idea that although the beginning and end may be known, the part in between may not be so clear. sometimes i love the thought of improvisation far more than a scripted piece. but sometimes i really wish someone would hand me the lines and i would be happy to simply recite.
sometimes i am sure that God is there, walking with me and i know deep down it is in Him that my hope is found. but sometimes He seems so very far away and i don't know how to reach Him, even though every part of me hungers to know Him more. sometimes words do not comfort and i just want to be held by arms that i can physically feel.
sometimes life delights me, and i see miracles of beauty everywhere i look. sometimes i look to the future filled with anticipation. but sometimes i am tired of it all. and sometimes even one day feels too long.
sometimes i feel invincible, i feel the world is my oyster and anything is possible. sometimes i just feel small. and alone. and a bit scared. sometimes i laugh and sometimes i cry and sometimes the lines in between all these sometimes get a bit blurred through the tears and i sometimes everything feels a little uncertain.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Faith, Hope and Love

Spirit of God, be wild and free in me.
Batter my proud and stubborn will,
blow me where you choose,
break me down if you must,
refashion me as you will.

Move me powerfully away from the games i play
in order to try and tame you.

Lead me into the wild places
the places of dream or scream,
the long dark tunnels
or the wide, sunny vistas -
to speak to lions
to move mountains
to bear tragedy
to mirror you.

HELP ME TO RUN STRAIGHT
TO GO ALL OUT,
AND TO GIVE MY BEST.

(from 'Celtic Prayers for Life Today' - Ray Simpson. p.102)

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

honest

one day, i'd like to just give an unedited version of how i feel. just tell it straight. without having already summarised, analysed, listed the pros and cons and then revised them. no brave faces, no polite 'fine thank yous', no fake smiles, no 'but on the other hand'. but are really given permisison to be real? is there time and is there the space? could i really shout/scream/sob/hide under the covers for a few days/curl up in a corner and rock slightly? no doubt i would offend. and this is what i fear. and fear is so strange because it's nearly always built on lies yet it ties us down and shuts us up. so we need faith. faith in a love that's stronger than anything we might fear. but the times we most need to believe in it are the times when it seems most far away. but we cling on to the scrap of hope in our hands and pray it holds us.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Norway - good tings

* Hanging out with a great bunch of people who were amazingly generous, fed us with many sausages, drove us many miles, and had a great sense of humour.

* A canoe trip to an island on a lake where we fished, canoed some more, had a bbq, drank hot chocolate, attempted to sing, met some shipwrecked norwegian boys, peed in the trees to the sounds of 'Hallelujah' wafting across the lake from a party on the other side, and slept outside under the still-a-little-bit-light-sky

* taking 6 english classes in a row at a primary school, playing endless games of 'poop deck'

* helping out an amazing couple on their farm, and being blessed by them far more than we deserved
* seeing someone baptised in a beautiful lake then swimming in it

* Simon telling everyone we met that he was a norwegian sausage (in norwegian!)

* Staying with a family who had no kitchen yet happily added two extra girls to their brood of three, keeping them up late with laughter, stories and singing!

* feeling totally out of my depth, doing things i've never done before with very little time to prepare, and then seeing how God totally carried us through.

* doing all of this with 7 other Scottish and English brilliant individuals who gave their all and did it with colour and fun and love!

Norway... first impressions

wooden houses painted different colours with porches
trampolines in the garden
green
roads with no markings
long evenings
waffles
changing weather
'tusen takk'
bbq-ed hot dog sausages with potato pancakes
potato salad
stylish clothes
beautiful lakes
empty streets
space
black coffee
eating meals at 4pm
bread bread bread bread bread
salami
cheese
friendly people
clean!
farms
fir trees

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

worship?

Sunday. I. Step hesitatingly toward your dwelling place.
Toward the place where You Are.
Weighed down by the week.
Distracted by a thousand thoughts that fly chaotically around my head like Brighton seagulls.

I’m carrying a gift.
(for You).

I mustered up something someone else told me would be a good thing even though I don’t completely understand why since it seems so far removed from my heart’s true song.

And sometimes I feel the most I can do is leave this gift on your doorstep.
And run.
Away.

When what You really want is me.
What You really want to do is beckon me in.
And then when we are face to face,
All pretension falls away,
All excuses fade,
And I remember…

…the depths from which You lifted me.
The light that causes darkness to flee.
Feel the solid ground on which You’ve planted me.

Remember, with a sigh of relief, that in Your eyes I am clean-white-bright-shiny-new.
And I don’t need to hide.
All self conscious fears disappear out the window.
In the presence of the One who saved me and knows my name.
In the presence of this Love.
Love that’s stronger than death and our reason for life.
Love that celebrates and rescues and restores.

And every cell of my body mind and soul yearns to express its response to this overwhelming truth.
To this story that transcends all fairytales.
Right here and right now I long to bring a true sacrifice of praise. My all.
A fragrant offering that is pleasing and genuine.

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sunday morning

If you'd walked into the hall of City Gate Centre on London Road this morning, there's a variety of things you might have seen. You might have seen a whole selection of people painting, drawing, and sticking things onto a huge art board. An evolving beautiful mess depicting many of the good things that are poured out on us. You probably would have come across several plastic balls, and may well have been hit by one, be it when they were thrown around by people surrouding two big parachutes, or when everyone just went a bit mad throwing them at each other and high into the air. You might have seen people dancing and jumping and throwing water at each other. You might have heard drums, horns and singing. You might have heard someone speak about the love they found in South Africa, the freedom and boldness they witnessed in India, and the expectation over a trip to Norway. You may have seen a whole cross-section of people - all different ages and sizes and personalities - standing united around a parachute with a world map printed on to it. United in their love for God, and for each other, and for their city, and the nations beyond.

i doubt you'd have guessed we were in the middle of a church service :-)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

i hope you remember

I hope you remember
O I hope you remember

That you are the jewels in His crown
The theme of His song
And the stars in His script

I hope you realise
O I hope you realise

That you are the apple of His eye
And you are His great delight
You make His heart beat faster
When He thinks of you

I hope you know
O I hope you know
That the seeds you sow
Will grow
Because the Great High King of Heaven lives in you
And works through your hands
Leaves footprints in the sand
Where He’s carried you

So please don’t doubt
O please don’t doubt

That the world needs you
You are very definitely meant to be here. Now.
You. Here. Now.

You are not an extra to the play and you are not a spare part
You have not been forgotten, forsaken or overlooked
At least – not by the one who made you.
Made you purposefully and carefully and beautifully
o. so. Beautifully.

So, sons and daughters, princes and princesses
Who seem small to the world
But are BIG on the inside.
Please do remember and please do realise….

That you are the apple of His eye
And you are His great delight
And you make His heart beat faster when He thinks of You


(wrote this at Spring Harvest for the kids there, but applies to all! :-) )

Sunday, 18 April 2010

i like...

i'm in the middle of the much anticipated week off. Which followed straight on from my first experience of Spring Harvest, but i will write about that in the next post. I've gone from Brighton to Minehead to Norwich to Birmingham to Derby...! Too many hours in cars and trains! But for now, just wanted to celebrate things i love doing that i'd forgotten or not done in a while, but have been able to do over the last week or two... and i'm thankful :-)

- climbing trees

- playing catch with my sister! (and still not really improved!)

- painting (a table!)

- walking barefoot

- singing out loud and out of tune while walking along listening to mp3 player

- walking along sea walls

- scrambling over rocks

- lying on sand
- sister act 2!!

- cooking/baking

- bbqs and trying new food

- ice cream cones!

- card games

- fish and chips

- exploring new places

- cliff tops

- taking photos along the way...


hooray!!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

'Life is a dance toward God'

"God bestows three blessings on man: to feed him like birds, dress him like flowers, and befriend him as confidant. Too many take the first two and neglect the last. Sooner or later you figure out life is constructed specifically and brilliantly to squeeze a man into association with the Owner of heaven. It is a struggle, with labor pains and thorny landscape, bloody hands and a sweaty brow, head in hands, moments of severe loneliness and questioning, moments of ache and desire. All this leads to God, i think. Perhaps this is what is on the other side of the commercials, on the other side of the curtain behind which the Wizard of Oz pulls his levers. Matter and thought are the canvas on which God paints, a painting with tragedy and delivery, with sin and redemption, Life is a dance toward God, i begin to think. And the dance is not so grateful as we might want. While we glide and swing our practised sway, God crowds our feet, bumps our toes, and scuffs our shoes. So we learn to dance with the One who made us. And it is a difficult dance to learn, because its steps are foreign".

From 'Through Painted Deserts' by Donald Miller. p91

Sunday, 28 March 2010

this week in pics

meet Amber, the newest addition to the Pike family in Oxford!


Runaway princess!

Tilly's shoes :-)



Friday, 26 March 2010

job??

This weekend i was at a wedding and at a family 'do', both full of people I'd never met before. Hence the question, "So what do you do?" was a decidedly common feature. I'm still never sure quite how to answer...

well, in the space of the last 4 days i...

- have written (almost) a 2500 assignment on creativity [student?]

- hung out with 14-16 year olds at an after school youth club, playing volleyball [youth worker?]

- helped deliver food to about 10 different projects in Brighton and Hove [charity volunteer?]

- telephoned various projects to carry out a survey for FareShare [researcher?]

- washed several hundred 3D glasses in a bath tub [uhhh...??!!]

- cleaned someone's bathroom [cleaner?]

- edited wedding photos taken last weekend [photographer?]

- manned church office [receptionist/administrator?]

- looked after friends' children [babysitter?]

I guess that's the cool thing about not having a job persae; or not being PAID for anything i do. It makes me able to bring in the variety of things i do during the week in answering the question (that is, when i think the person asking is genuinely interested. Usually i must admit i say something vague like 'working for my church'). Most people do plenty of interesting things that they may be more passionate about and that define them much more as a person than their 9-5 (or whenever) waged work. But often nobody asks about that! We just seem to want quick, easy answers that allow us to label people, classify them in grades of interest, intellect, ambition, etc. When we're probably only skimming the very surface!

and even with all the doing listed above i think my favourite parts and what i think are some of the most important things in life are the cooking for friends and catching up and enjoying being together...

Monday, 22 March 2010

wedding photography...


Have just written about my first 'official wedding photographer' experience for my friends' fab new online magazine: "Dressed in the Dark" - for ordinary people living creatively.


Check it out here...

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

from the very beginning, they danced

Those who sketch the truest history of dancing would tell you that in the first generation of all things the dance grew up, appearing together with ancient Love. In fact, the circling motion of the stars and their intertwining with the fixed planets…are signs of the primeval dance.

(Lucian of Samosata, Antioch, 125-90 AD in 'The McDonaldization of the Church' by John Drane, p.104)

Sunday, 14 March 2010

time to celebrate

I am still having to learn (or to accept!) that life goes up and down, seasons change, we cry, we laugh, we lose, we find. When you're in one season sometimes it's so hard to imagine life being any different - whether that's good or bad. This week, anyways, I am celebrating. Aware that next week i might feel once again that the sky is falling. But that is not today. and today there is much to be thankful for. My sister was given an offer for medical school. Woo! So Proud! Some friends at church have been given legal permission to adopt and by the end of the month they will have a son and another precious person will be added to our church family. Oh, and i am so grateful to be a part of that family of simultaneously very ordinary and fantastically extraordinary individuals who express truth and life and love in a thousand unique ways. Which leads me to something else i am overwhelmingly thankful for. and that's FRIENDS. oh what a great invention! phone calls and cups of tea and long chats over dinner and late night tired-slightly-surreal-conversations and hugs and honesty. i am rich beyond measure in terms of the people's whose paths have crossed with mine, regardless of whether we are walking side by side right at this moment. And i am celebrating with those who over the last few weeks and months are discovering new levels of freedom, who are discovering who they were really created to be and daring to living it out and finding that they are enjoying it and suddenly realising how much they are loved. Praise to the One whose very words create; the author of life.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

longing



"How lovely is your dwelling-place, O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and flesh cry out for the living God"
Psalm 84:1-2