Thursday, 28 January 2010


Last exam today. I don't like taking about academic type stuff on here unless it's got some bigger point- but basically, I'm thankful that God's pulled me through the past [entirety of my life] few weeks, and it's been incredibly obvious to me. When I've been ill, I've been given strength. When I've been scared (not necessarily about exams), I've been comforted. When I would in the past have gotten really sad about things, it just hasn't come the past few weeks, which to me is amazing. It's been a most enjoyable, beautiful time, and the friendships developed are such a blessing. Ah, goodness. Happy days. God's good.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010


Small thing that made me think yesterday. I was discussing with a friend how whenever I meet new people and they find out I play the guitar, I often get asked to meet and play with them. And although I love the idea of this, I know that I'm not very good, and I'm even worse when I'm with people. And thus I feel silly and worry that I'll disappoint them by not living up to their expectations (even though I've never claimed to be anything better than I am, which is pants). In a bid to comfort me, my friend remarked, "well don't worry, when guys like girls who can play the guitar, they don't want them to be better than them". Oh phew. Crisis averted, except for two problems. First, the massive generalization of men. Second, what hierarchy of importance am I giving off in vibes that would lead to the assumption that I want to sacrifice being better at the guitar in order to please a guy? Obviously this will never be an issue, my musical abilities are not competitive, they're sufficient to bring God glory and me joy/comfort/embarrassment, and that's fine with me. But still. The principle of it.

In a past relationship, we had serious issues where we both felt inferior to each other in spiritual matters, and it wore us down. I'm of the persuasion that in a couple, the man should be the leader, especially in spiritual terms*, but if he feels that he's being "out-done" (what a horrible concept) by the woman, does that mean that she should make concessions, step back from some activities, turn down her spiritual volume to enable him to be heard? No. Not at all. Mutual encouragement, spurring each other on to love and good deeds, living by example, sharpening each other. No jealousy, no competition, just teamwork and humility.

Priorities, I guess, is what I'm getting at. Knowing what yours are. And knowing if your actions and words tell the same story.

I, make very stupid concessions, which I hate. I'm feeling it today.

*this is a subject I could expand on a fair bit, with regards to church leaders, timid guys, bolshy women, myself being impatient/demanding/arrogant ...and subsequent issues.

Thursday, 21 January 2010


It constantly amazes me how much God cares about the little details in my life. When I was younger I was told that He knew everything about me, but I thought, "so he knows, what difference does that make to me?" Now I see that He not only knows but cares and shows His amazing love through the special blessings that come with inside knowledge of our hearts. My essay research isn't going well, but I just decided to try and write up a section anyway and struggle through it. I wished that I had a different soundtrack for this endeavor. I ordered some CDs the other day that are perfect working music, but after checking the post hopefully earlier, they hadn't arrived. So I sat down to type, motivation draining, and that second a knock came to the door, a postman, late, with a cheerful looking brown package for me. Perfect timing! I nearly hugged the postman. I settled for squeaking in the stupid way that I do when I'm excited, but it made him laugh, so that's two days made better. Beautiful.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


I've been working for a good proportion of the day, praise the Lord! Writing an essay on European empires (would be much better if I knew exactly what countries are in Europe). It's cool though, because I look at all these massive administrations and rulers that had everything, and with hindsight we can see that in the end it crumbled away. I look around today at all the superpowers, and it can seem sometimes like they're unshakable and unstoppable.

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

There's a lake I used to like to walk around in Nottingham, and at a certain point I'd always look across it and this poem would pop into my head. Often I'd be there to think through stuff, problems and decisions alike, but when I'd look up and see this incredible sight, the futility of what I'd been pondering was just eclipsed by the amazing beauty of creation and creator. And that beauty would be eternal, whereas earthly things and worries would not.

Everything crumbles eventually. I think it's hard to believe it until you can look down on the ruins that become history to you. I bet people thought the Romans would become synonymous with humanity. I bet people think the countries we hear about on the news will never be surpassed. I bet there are people who think that evil and suffering rule on Earth, and that we'll be broken forever. There are things in my life that I've sometimes felt would never let up, feelings that would hold me, situations that would tie me down and keep me, but in time I see them crumble to dust like everything else.

Because there's only one power that will never fail. One kingdom that is eternal. One King who will rule forever.

The rest is dust.

In other news, life is pretty sweet.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


I'm back in Sheffield! Hurrah. It is so far quite beautiful. I looked out of the window this morning (which is now yesterday) when I went to make coffee and a dense fog hung over the day. That made me smile. I'm happy. I left my 3 warm hoodies at home accidentally though, which is unfortunate. Muppet. Magnets on our fridge make me smile too. It's good. It's very, very good.

"There should be no pity for the man who leaves everything behind to follow God, and then wonders why the road is so difficult or narrow. Nor should there be a party. What there should be, and what I feel I can honestly say, is that there should be a change. There should be progress on some level. I used to say that this experience would be worth the while if only one life was encouraged to discover Jesus for the first time or at least to seek Christ with greater diligence. By God’s kindness, this has happened in countless lives this year already! Little did I know, though, that I was referencing myself. I was that one person that needed Jesus. Did I (or do any of us) really think that our mustard seed of faith would accomplish the relocation of mountains? Probably not, at least not for very long. What Jesus was getting at in this well-known parable was that it took such an insignificant morsel of OUR own faith, by comparison, to the colossal depths of God’s faith in His own ways, His own abilities. The mountains will throw themselves into the sea, not because you or I give the command, but because God is able to match our tiny seed with His unending forest, and then, and only then, is anything possible. All forests are birthed first by planting helpless seeds that require ingredients only God can provide. We are saved by grace, through faith, because faith is the seed that God uses to implant His eternal power of grace into our lives." - Chad Johnson.

Change me, mold me, bring me closer, let me progress. Oh my word. Life. Soul. Love. He is flipping amazing.

Saturday, 16 January 2010


So, I'm really ill. The ongoing poor health I've had increasingly for the past couple of months has been topped with a common cold, which really adds insult to injury because it's such a small thing. But I only had a little strength left and that's been punctured now. Nauseous, stuffed up, dizzy, so weak its unbelievable (I just quite humorously failed to stand up). I feel like death.

But I couldn't be happier. I was on the verge of getting stressed. Why this week? Why when I have exams? Why when I have to go back to uni? I had a pray, and think this is great. I want to live in God's strength, not my own, and this way I'm forced to. It's so much better this way. A challenge for me, a triumph for God, all glory to Jesus, less of me, more of You. My prayer has been changed from "please heal me, let me feel well enough to face the week ahead", to "Lord, help me to trust You, rely on You, live for You, by You. Let me praise You and thank You whether I'm walking or crawling into exam halls. Let me lean on You, and be glorified. Be my strength.".

He doesn't just hold me, He holds me together.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Gosh darn it I want to drop out of uni tonight.
Very, very, VERY discontent.

***I will substantiate these three posts (of which this is the central, in position not theme) when my mind is less occupied with trivial rubbish.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

So here's a little thought with big implications.

God is sovereign, He's got everything pretty (and by this I mean completely) sorted. Even when I don't understand it, when things look wobbly and broken and chaotic, it's all still firmly in His hand. His plan, is flawless. His knowledge, is perfect. He has control, power and supremacy. These things I believe.

"We are immortal, until God calls us home."

I feel the need to add, we go on being immortal after that.

But in this life, what a knowledge that would be to grasp. We are untouchable. When it's time to bow out, to head on over to the eternity of stuff I can't even begin to imagine, it's completely on God's terms. Until then, whenever that may be, we can throw ourselves heart first onto the line for Jesus.

So why do we live in so much fear? More risks need to be taken. Jesus was not one for holding back for fear of the consequences. He knew what was coming, and He knew what would come afterwards. We are all going to die, and if we've trusted Him, we're all going to live. Why should we fear anything? Perfect loves drives out fear!

I'm finding out that it's the moments of decision,
yes or no,
step out or sit still,
speak or hold silence,
that define who I am.
Who I was made to be.

Monday, 11 January 2010


"God's really good", she says, shaking her fist.

When I was little, I used to get really mardy. My brothers can testify to this. There's this amazing beauty in the honesty of kids. I miss it, and wish we didn't grow out of expressing how we're feeling. Joyful feelings, where if you think you might like the looks of someone, you're quite happy to go hug their leg. That's frowned upon in mature society. But also the negative stuff- like when young kids cry, and scream, there's this furious anger at the world and the injustice that's been done to them. It's fantastic. When I was little, when I'd be venting this frustration, I'd cry and yell and sob and screech and stamp my feet at my mum, and I'd revel in my mood. What I hated, was that behind my mum's back, my brothers would stand pulling faces and doing stupid things to make me laugh in spite of myself.

I guess now, when I'm sad and angry, those rare or not so rare occasions, just as I'm getting into the swing of my dark mood I'm reminded that God is still good, and through gritted teeth I concede. I think as we become really inwardly focused when we're in those moods, it catches on us when we have to look at the bigger picture. I just want to be left alone to rage for a little while, but no, God's good, and this has implications, which are ultimately distracting from us (because it turns out that I am very, very small).

In other news, I have a doctor's appointment in an hour and am strangely scared, and have already tried to call to cancel it.

Furthermore, yet misleadingly unassociated to anything previously mentioned, I'm really discontent with innuendo type stuff. I'm not a prude, and I don't usually mind the tamer jokes, and I make them myself (not that this means they're grand). What gets me right riled up is when I quote lyrics about how God loves us, and someone makes it dirty. No! Pure, perfect love. Very different to kinky sex. I know it's a small thing, but it epitomises what a generation is growing up to think of love as, and the more it's encouraged, the harder it'll get for them to reconcile the love of Jesus. I am such a hypocrite. Throw things at me. But oh my word would somebody baptize my mind? I don't want to be looking at love through anything that's going to distort it.

"Life takes the mick".

Thursday, 7 January 2010


Listening to Underoath properly for the first time in months- I can't explain why but it feels really comfortable. I guess because I've liked them for so long, and they have actually accompanied everything big in 6 years of my life. It's like coming home, in a weird way. Ah, happy.

Monday, 4 January 2010


Another unproductive day! Everytime I work myself up to work, I spend half an hour researching the task, substantiate the claims that it's a biggun, then flop down in anticipated exhaustion.

So let's talk produce. I was thinking yesterday about what the fruits of my life are, the products of my faith. A better question is what do I want them to be? I want, through my life, for people to encounter the mahusive love of Jesus Christ. I would love to be a tool through which that love changes somebody's life. I want to further the kingdom in any which way I can, big or small. I know this is what I want! I know this is what is expected. I know this is possible.

So why is my mum lying ill in the lounge, with my gran and uncle sat by, helpess, and me sat by, dead in my seat, offering no hope?

"If we believe but do not follow, then maybe we don't believe." ~tree

I don't get it. I may be a hypocrite in many senses, but it's not just a case of empty words. I mean everything. I would lay hands on a stranger. Why is it different with my family? Ack.


Saturday, 2 January 2010


A few things:

1) Music is getting me right excited at the moment. Incredibly. Ah, beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.

2) I'm concerned about my health. Since starting university I've not been right, and the past few weeks I've barely eaten most days because I'm constantly feeling nauseous. Today I walked around town for just an hour and nearly collapsed before I got home. Now standing is proving exhausting. I'm supposed to be running marathons! So a blood-test is in order...

3) I've become far too conservative, and it's time to revert.

4) I find it humorous that my mother is concerned about me being "low" today when I'm actually ridiculously cheerful. Oh the irony.

4) I'm considering how my degree is going to help me get into the field I really want to work in, and the outcome is not logical.

5) God's darn good. And I am excited.

Friday, 1 January 2010


So, a new year is upon us. Symbolic if you want to make it that. I know I used to make new year resolutions. I also know a weakness of mine is idealising things. I would treat a new year in the same way as a clean sheet of paper, or a blank canvas, waiting for me to make my new, clean and perfect mark. Blemish free like untouched snow. But if I made a wrong stroke early on, if I smudged my writing, that'd be it. Ruined. Then I began to grasp that there's a God that's outside of time, who doesn't particularly care if its the first of January or twelfth of August. So I don't make new year's resolutions anymore. The disappointment of spoiling my clean sheet was so heavy, and in my mind condemned the whole year to substandard living and unreached goals. Now, I make resolutions every day. I fail every day too. Multiple times! But almighty incredible and fabulously prodigal grace and unwavering patience and an eternal supply of undeserved clean sheets erase my mistakes and let me start afresh every ten minutes when I need to. And I need to!

Nevertheless, it just so happens that I've been praying into and thinking about some stuff the past couple of weeks and those stumbling steps have reached the uneven ground of resolve around about today. So I should impress, this is not new year resolve. This is new day, new life resolve. It is time to move on! Damo and I commented that we've done a lot this year passed. Things have certainly changed a lot. Crazy amounts really. But it's time to go with it. Take the lessons, leave the burdens, abandon the vices and the ties to those things that pull you down. Loosen the cords. Step out. I'll be quite honest- I have no idea how to do this, but I know I've got to try.

"Awake, awake, O Zion,
clothe yourself with strength.
Put on your garments of splendour,
O Jerusalem, the holy city.
The uncircumcised and defiled
will not enter you again.
Shake off your dust;
rise up, sit enthroned, O Jerusalem.
Free yourself from the chains on your neck,
O captive Daughter of Zion."
~ isaiah 52:1-2.

"Why do we keep what holds us? Why do I keep what holds me down?
Lose the weight of defeat. It's time to stand your ground!
Vices like vipers
Speak in whispers.
My heel's the meat to sink their teeth,
Like the viper
I kept when You said, "Let go!"
Since all the alibis of ignorance are void...
This, my lust, the pornos and the sluts.

Take, my lust, this world's Love.
Great Councilor, take what's left.
Great Councilor, take what's left of me"
~ Oh, Sleeper. Vices like Vipers