Monday, 30 November 2009


I didn't understand my lecture today, (or maybe there wasn't anything to understand), so I sat and pondered for an hour. I've been thinking about value quite a bit recently, and how much I put on what, how much I think should be put on what, and why these numbers don't match up.

In my seminar we discussed essays, and when people found out I hadn't started reading yet, they looked fearful...but something quite cool is that I don't mind. I'm not at all worried. God's really good, and hasn't yet let me down. Academics mean nothing to me aside from an opportunity to glorify God, so it's really not something to get too stressed about. Good times? Yes. Yes!

Anyway, so on the theme of value again, I was thinking about consumerism (as this I think was part of the lecture) and it made me laugh sadly how fickle we're capable of being. The lecturer was talking about how new fashions came about in the 1600s and how people would try to emulate what the aristocracy were wearing/eating/doing. How they got their sense of status from what pattern was on their new china-cup, and how every time a new design came out they'd have to have it. I may not buy china-cups, but there's always something. In the west we're such a consumerist society, always looking for things to fill our lives with, and as soon as we get what we want, we set our heart on something else. Perpetually. I collect sand on which to build my house and put it in a bucket with a hole in the bottom. It just slips straight out again, and leaves a trail behind me as I walk no where in particular.

When heaven meets the earth,
We will have no use for numbers
To measure who we are and what we’re worth.

When Heaven meets the earth,
We will have no need for mirrors
To tell us who to be
And where we fit into this awkward point of view.

I set my heart on You.

Friday, 27 November 2009


It's a humbling time. I'm 2 days behind on essays according to my schedule and thus will unfortunately be working through nights again. I tried so hard. But like I said, it's humbling. I have no choice but to trust. I know the lesson I'm learning is that my plans aren't what count. But it's so darn tricky.

In more positive news, text-a-toastie was great last night. Once again loads of people with genuine questions, and an amazing heart of people wanting to serve and meet them. God's good, and He loves cheese and bread. Also, excitingly...I guess we have a house for next year. I saw it today and it is really rather wonderful. The best student house I've seen actually. The bedrooms are great sizes, and they all have a fireplace. We can have candles! So we've emailed the landlady, and it's reserved for us to sign the contract any day now. There was another group who saw it before us, who wanted it, and it's such an answer to prayer that we were favoured. Serious provision. It's also at the top of Conduit Road, commonly known as the steepest hill in Sheffield (which is rather mountainous at the best of times). So we're getting fit too. It's good to know we've got it...even if I'm still imploding about staying here.

I smell an all-nighter in the IC creeping slowly nearer...

Wednesday, 25 November 2009


For a moment Your heart's in mine, and I fall on my knees, and ask you to leave it there.

Last night I dreamed that someone incredibly special to me had died. It was horrific. All I could think was that we'd wasted so much time focusing on the wrong things, how there was so much more we could have been doing, that we'd missed a chance and how futile everything was that we'd worried about before. I've never been so upset about a dream.

We love because He loved us first. I can't get this out of my head. Sometimes I feel like I'll explode with this incredible love inside of me, sometimes it's joyful, sometimes it's painful, but it's always amazing because I feel it and know that this is an echo, fainter and weaker, but an echo of the love that God has for us. I called the person from my dream this morning and told them that I loved them. I got the sleepy response, "Well...that's kind of weird". Which was amusing. But it didn't matter, all that mattered to me was that they knew. I had to tell them, because I couldn't bear the thought of something happening to them without knowing. Isn't this what God does every moment of our lives? Because He loves us so much that He's cut up about the thought of anything happening to us. He calls out that He loves us, and we turn around and say, "Well...that's weird". Or "Well...I don't believe You". Or, ", You carry on, just don't harass me". I want to give a better response. Love I feel for people consumes me, how incredible that this is just an imperfect version of a love more amazing and pure than my little heart could truly grasp.

God, take all of me, don't leave a thing, don't let this be it. I don't want anything that's not You. Take me on my word, I mean it. I'm Yours.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Three posts in one day.

I am absolutely horrible. Green is not a good colour. This is ridiculous- I know I'm bad but even I was surprised at how predictably selfish I am. Ack. Ack! Sort me out.


"Are we going to go through this every week?"


It's amazing when you realise suddenly that God cares about the little things in life. I spent 4 days (which was actually 2 weeks) deciding which essay question to do for paths, worrying about not knowing anything about the subjects and importantly not being able to get ample books...eventually yesterday I "felt" the renaissance question...went to the library, couldn't find the most important books, stress, got 7 others to be reading in the mean-time, blah, looked up this morning and realised that the two token history books I brought with me from home to look credible as a history student just happened to include one of the core texts I need, randomly bought from a charity shop. I've never looked at that book. Provision! Good times.

So now I have 8 books to read today.

And what church will I go to this evening?

Friday, 20 November 2009


What an unproductive day! Awful really. I'm drowning in apathy.

Soon I will talk to a good friend.

After that I shall meet another.

These two things make me smile.

This weekend is the Become student network weekend away (this is the student work of both KC and Philly). I should be there, but am not. Alas.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009


I've been doing a fair bit of writing recently, mostly when I'm tired or too full of thoughts to concentrate on work. I've not finished any songs, but have the potential necessities to create a horrific Frankenstein of a song, made from mismatched limbs, lines and jam. I've been feeling curiously, and commented earlier when talking about writing, that my life is full of refrains, but no verses. And, much like when I'm waffling aimlessly in essays hoping to stumble over a mark somewhere, I suddenly realised that what I was saying was more true than I thought.

Tonight is evidence potent and fetid enough to satisfy any dispute- life, my life, I'm damn certain sure others' lives (for we all fall short, no?), can be sometimes ruled by a recurring line, a repeated lyric. Something we always find ourselves singing. Maybe it's a habit you just can't kick. Maybe it's a mistake you just keep making. Maybe it's depression. Maybe it's lust. Maybe it's a promise of a new start that I make every day/week/month that I thought I'd never have to make again. Sometimes we break out, start singing a verse, because verses are progression, but refrains come back around- naturally. And above the power of being held in that line almost is the fear of it coming back again. Maybe you notice the chord pattern shifting that way, more minors falling into place, a crescendo of drums... I don't know. But I know the fear of things coming back can be as debilitating as when they're playing havoc with your life. It stops you from taking risks, stops you from living in the potential that you have. Refrains...seem to be a slippery phenomenon, sliding into place in the song at any time. Sometimes almost unnoticed, refrains are playing throughout the verse. It makes me feel sad and a fraud that whilst I grow and progress through life, the same lines are sung in the hidden depths of my life that I'm ashamed of.

That's no way to live. But. If refrains are the immovable objects- God is the unstoppable force. But Han Feizi, this is a paradox, neither, according to the laws of physics will triumph. Except that God created physics and the laws of the universe bend to His will and His will is that we don't live trapped in refrains, and His perfect love drives out the fear of them. To repent, in its original Greek, is to change your mind, as in the way you think, be renewed in your mind and step out on that. Break with the refrain, get God's help and live out the promise of His faithfulness. I say 'you', because I'm shouting at myself. I'm sick of falling into the same muddy holes over and over. Bizarrely, I think I'd rather that I fell into a different one each day, because at least I could look back at what I'd gotten out of before, or what He's gotten me out of before, what refrains I didn't have to sing any more, and see progress in my life pointing me towards refinement.

And of refinement- well. Recently, I've prayed to be changed so much, and so quickly, with such tenacity, such stark contrast to how I've been living, thinking, failing...and I've come away from time with God running on new strength of character I've claimed in Him at 50000mph. And I've tripped up so spectacularly in the space of a week, like seriously one of those amazing falls where you feel your legs just aren't quite listening to your head shouting "abort! we're going down!- abandon ship!" and then you can see yourself flailing around as in slow motion you careen towards the low low ground...on which there's probably dirt of a vicious kind. Because, it's not about the big change all of a sudden. "It's a constant process this is, growing you into the person you're to become." I'm going to borrow a quote, I hope that the person won't mind, but I've tried paraphrasing and it can't be said any better, and when I read it I was just like, yes- that's what I've been trying to fashion into a coherent sentence:

My prayer has been shaped (through this same fiery furnace) from a previous plea of, "Lord, please finish this process as quickly as possible and let me on my way" to a more desperate cry, "Lord, I want the purest of refinement. Please take as much time as you need to rework and reshape my heart. Whatever you do, please finish the process fully and completely - just allow me to endure it." - Chad Johnson

That's all I have to say really. I'm very, very tired, and it is now nearly 2am. I have slept very little for 2 nights, and after watching Dr Who today I am scared of my bathroom. I received my first assignment back today and did well in it, but have decided that grades are farcical because my tutor commented that I obviously understood the arguments of the history book I was reviewing, when in fact I only read half of it because I gave up due to it being jibberish to me. I am a fraud, and now feel guilty and will endeavour to read the book fully. Contrary to their generally negative press in this entry, I'm really happy to have a couple of refrains down, and wait expectantly for their accompanying verses. I've eaten I think my free 50% extra mass of bourbons whilst writing this. I have 3 essays to write. God is good. I'm not even joking, because of Dr Who I'm still sat here just to prolong the time before having to turn off the light. Falling asleep to worship music tonight.

Sunday, 15 November 2009


Tonight I tried taking a step towards resolving the problem I've been having with settling at church. It did not go well. I was hoping for encouragement, welcome and reassurance. I got betrayed, belittled and questioned. I spent a good long time crying, because the thing I've been accustomed to leaning into seems to just move out of the way lately. Things I expected once to help me and secure me, just aren't doing. Thus is the futility of placing hope in earthly things. Let me learn a lesson from this please! I know God doesn't step aside, doesn't leave and doesn't forsake. Praise where it's due. He's amazingly good, despite how infuriating His plans are. I'm still blessed with incredible friends to keep me on track, for which I'm grateful. There have been joyful moments tonight, and live music to accompany them. But I'm sad because I will not be going to church in the morning now, and I want to so badly.

In other news, I bought milk from Spar. It was reduced to 27p, and I thought "milk, that is cheap, success, I shall drink luxurious and extravagant amounts and have joy". Then I noticed as I picked it up that it had information about goats on the side. On closer inspection it turned out to be goat's milk. I contemplated this and thought, "my prejudices must be holstered, it is milk and it is cheap, it will be as cow's milk, I shall drink luxurious amounts before the close use-by date, and there will be joy". When I got home, I poured a luxurious full cup. But as I took my first gulp, all I could think was "this came forth from a goat". A picture of a goat flashed in my mind's eye. "Goat juice". It tastes of goat. Every subsequent swallow has strong White Post Farm smell flavouring. It is mildly foul. The aftertaste returns periodically over at least 7 hours, so far. I feel that the logical thing to do is to conduct an experiment, and thus will endeavor to buy goat's milk every week, and determine how long it takes my body to become desensitized to it. For I am a student.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Oh hard day. God's good. I'm tired. Facts.

I achieved nothing today. I walked to the IC to get a book which resulted in me getting rained on and I don't even want to read the book. I have not started the essay I was supposed to finish. I have not listened to a harp. I have not read. I did finger-paint, which saved an abomination of a day slightly. I also devoured an entire ice cream roll...although I have not yet decided if this is a positive or negative event.

Rob remarked, "this is the sort of day when you just want it to be night so that it's over faster". This struck me internally as quite sad...I thought, "but there's so much to live for today!", new grace, new freedom, new life. Incredibly, it's another day that we're allowed to live and another day in which we could walk up to a stranger in the botanical gardens and ask them if they know God loves them enough to die for them. Or another day we could pay for some one's laundry. Or another day to bask in God's goodness and sing praise. Maybe people will see that days are incredible and not wastes when we start living.


I have just found out that the deadline for applications to study abroad is the 1st of December. That is little more than two weeks away. Knowing myself, two weeks is not time to practice discernment. Rubbish. Rubbish. Rubbish. This could be catastrophic.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009



I've been back to Nottingham for the first time since leaving. I found it mildly amusing that I spent most of the time last year running to Sheffield to escape Nottingham, and this week I ran to Nottingham to escape Sheffield. Oh how the tables have turned. But they keep on turning. "Home" was hard, and thus I fled back once more to my university, earlier than people expected. No where is safe it seems. Alas. I run so much I could be easily mistaken for a coward...

I feel oddly incorporeal. In Sheffield I've made a silly but successful attempt at living without being. I float around having no impact, affecting nothing, influencing no one, satisfying my call to be here in the most sickly weak way, physically but not noticeably so. How insulting is this? It's like I'm apologising for my God's actions, appeasing Him and His call, but ensuring that in doing so I don't have to rock any boats. I can't fool God. I haven't been here for 9 weeks. I haven't been here at all.

Going back to Nottingham, I tripped over who I used to be in the silence.

I know that I'm not one to settle anywhere- I get too restless. It can come across as irrationality sometimes. Really, I'm just really open to possibilities and prompting. I don't believe in impossibility. Why should I? So I'm thinking and praying about what is wisest to do in the near future. To stay in Sheffield and charge through, or to go away for a year to grow alone and let dust settle in my absence.

Importantly, there is a year to grasp before then.

So the conclusion: I'm here. I hope, I'm really here now. I'm taking steps towards existence. Come and live! I'm going to try and not let politics of the past hold me back. Come alive! God can deal with those barriers. In His strength. I hope. Time will tell if I trust enough. I want to.

Friday, 6 November 2009


I just don't want to be here.