Wednesday, 18 May 2011


And now I will show you the most excellent way. If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

Beauty. I read this a lot. (Like seriously, if I talk about love a lot, it's nothing compared to how much I ponder on it.).

We can do so much that is nullified if it is not done with love.

I like that here, love is defined often by what it is not, or what it doesn't do. Because God knows that we've got a distorted idea of love in our broken world- people want to be happy, feel needed, feel like they own something- a plethora of loves askew. Just 2 years ago I broke at a lyric quoted at me by my then-partner:

"When we swear, 'my love is real', we mean, 'I like the way you make me feel'".

- a simple line with crushing implications.

But here God says that He wants us to know real love. The unconditional love that never changes. And His challenge is for us to love like this. My challenge is to use this list as a checklist. In situations day-to-day, asking, am I being patient? Am I being kind? Am I proud here, boasting, or am I envious of this person? Am I doing this for their benefit or secretly mine? Am I protecting or endangering? So often the answer is the wrong one. My love falls short.

His does not.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011


'It is, I think, entirely possible for one to respond to things at their natural value while seeing clearly their value for eter-nity. "Wisdom"-knowing the causes and ends of things-clarifies, rather than blurs, one's perception of the purely natural. The little wisdom that comes to us merely through the accretion of age does not render us incapable of understanding the passions of the young. Such wisdom helps us to understand passion better, indeed, than those possessed by it. Nor does such wisdom inhibit our sympathy for the sufferer. It is the old who know best what the young feel and who offer them the sincerest compassion.' - Elias Schwartz : The Possibilities of Christian Tragedy

This is a beautiful idea to stumble over during essay research. The notion that the longer you live, or the more you face, the more you can grow in compassion. Not that the skin would be hardened by difficulties, nor the heart be deadened by cynicism, but rather that such experience allows you to love the young and inexperienced more.

I am only twenty, and thus cannot speak as a seventy year old. But for my little part, I'm thankful for the hardest times in my life so far that have placed me in a position to love people through theirs. I know that part of my life's calling is to mourn with those who mourn. Even if I'm still working out what that looks like.

Monday, 4 April 2011


The one thing that I'm feeling at the moment is the need for people to pursue what they're passionate about. I think in my own life, I'm not decided on the vast majority of things. But that's fine. What's important is the one or two things you know make your heart beat faster and bring you to life. And what you do about them. I'd like to ignore everything I'm beige about, and run full pelt after the rest.

This sounds like a weird hybrid between the abstract gravity of my usual Romanticism and the immature optimism of a Taylor Swift song. I just believe that we spend too long plodding along when we could be powering after something. And I don't want to be the person I know who is constantly wishing for something without taking a step towards it.

This has been on my heart for a long time now...I guess I've just pondered it more recently (that's what essay season will do to you). How do we encourage people to find what makes them passionate? How do we encourage people to push for it? I feel like this should be something started in youth...but what about the cynical adult too?

I would love to facilitate this. I would love to see people challenging eachother to take their dreams seriously and make them a reality. I don't know what it looks like yet, but there's defintely potential for beauty. I'm pretty sure somebody saying 'what if?' could be the difference between living and being alive for some people.

"Some men see things as they are and ask "why?". Others dream things that never were and ask "why not?"" - George Bernard Shaw

I'm not sure I've ever explained the name of this 'blog', pretentious as it is to call it such. (I strangely detest writing on here for just that reason). It's a phrase that struck me in an early morning worship and prophecy session I snuck out to during my a-level exams. 7am in Nottingham, a few youth gathered to seek Jesus. As we started to worship and ask for his direction, we just had a guitar and voices, and some one pointed out that we had so little to bring.

'If you want'd better start stamping your feet'.

It's a call to worship with what He's given us, all we are and all we have. And it's a challenge to put the effort in and actively pursue the desires and callings God has put on our hearts. Glorify Him. And get up and get on with it. Go.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

"For need breaks all laws and has none." -Martin Luther.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Forget whatever I was just about to write-

The point is, my chest has been awful today. But I just sat down and read the bit in the Bible where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. This took 2 minutes. In those 2 minutes my chest completely cleared up. Claimed.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Here in dust and dirt, O here
The lilies of His love appear!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Drunken mistakes.

"Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."

If recollection and mine eyes serve me well enough, getting drunk on alcohol tends to make people do silly things, things they would be less easily tempted to do when sober, and often things that they regret shortly afterwards.

I could argue that being filled with the holy spirit has a similar effect. Contentious? Maybe.

Make no mistake, I don't purport to be 'filled' with the spirit. I reckon it's in me, but I don't feel at full capacity. Anyway, this week has been quite demanding and really challenging in terms of faith and the like, and so I've maybe asked for a little more, paid a little more attention, invested and stepped into more of what God's got on offer. Exciting and humbling times. This meant that after the crazy few days, I was buzzing a little bit still, and whilst sauntering around the peace gardens (actual, not metaphorical), chucked up an optimistic, jovial, on-the-offchance-because-i'm all spiritualized prayer to change a particular aspect of my life and help me stop messing up.

Anyway, later, when spiritual sobering had taken place, I was slightly perturbed to discover that God had taken me at my word and stepped in, cutting off my route to that particular form of screwing up. Brilliant! Except, the truth is, when we're really honest, we like to sin. Not great to point out, but if it wasn't fun, appealing and pleasurable, it wouldn't really be an issue. So here's me, the morning after as it were, berating my yesterdayself for being so stupidly intoxicated that I would do something so silly as to pray a real prayer.

Obviously, I am thrilled at this really. But it has highlighted how much conflict there is in us. In me at least. And why minds really do need to be renewed before any change of actions can be made effective. Change your heart before you change your shirt.