Saturday, 27 February 2010


"I am so small I can barely be seen.
How can this great love be inside me?
Look at your eyes, they are small
But they see enormous things." - Rumi.

I sometimes don't know if I'm imploding or exploding. In the face of such greatness and beauty, I feel incredibly small, smaller by the minute. In the face of such greatness and beauty, I feel something huge must surely burst out of me at any moment.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Burn in me.

"Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other." -Romans 12:9-10.

People are all really different, and some personalities are just not going to tessellate closely. Relient K wrote a song which words this, "No I don't hate you, don't want to fight know I'll always love you but right now I just don't like you". And I'm wondering if it's possible to really love people if we don't like them. Different kinds of love for sure. I guess then yes, it's possible. I don't think "but" should come after those three words though. What I'd like would be to have a different perspective when I'm looking at people. To be blind to the parts of them that clash with parts of me, and love them genuinely and unreservedly. After all, I'd like people to do the same for me. And most importantly, God sees none of my faults. He knows what I'm like but it doesn't change the way He feels. That's the perspective I want. Those eyes. That blindness and that sight. That love.


Text-a-toastie was pretty immense last night. A word that keeps coming up for God lately in my mind is "epic". He's just so great, grand, massive. 32 people turned up last night because He's so ravished their hearts that they're overflowing with the desire to share that relationship and love with students in Sheffield that don't know Him yet. Incredible! And little things throughout the night just screamed of His plan. As names were put to roles, some I knew before they were said, because God's spoke them so evidently. I can't describe it, I just love the heaviness of His spirit in that room and that group of people, different each week. It's tangible and it's exciting. Even when a fire-alarm forced us to evacuate out into the rain, I love how people grabbed flyers and spare toasties, seeing it as another opportunity to spread the love to those outside.

Afterwards, I wasn't feeling great, so I went for a little walk in the rain. I stood and watched the lake for a while, pondering. I settled on the fact that it had been an incredible night, following a few others, and I was really fortunate. If I consider how much things have changed since last term, it's quite amazing. Really amazing. I sighed and went home and wrote my portfolio, which I submitted at 3am, woke up at 11.30 and felt really gross for it. But still it's been a lovely day, and I'm looking forward to tonight. Hurrah. Hurrah.

I also love that I can hear "Happy Day" through the wall.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Words are pennies, pennies are words.

Writing about philosophy of literature (Literature?). I don't like the class division inherent in the system. Popular vs high literature. Canon vs airport. The only note I made in today's lecture, "Think I chose the wrong degree...".

It's a good job I really like Shakespeare. Though I feel by principle I shouldn't sometimes.

I think I'm becoming one of them.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

One day I'll find you.

Hosea's been on my mind lately. I'm not sure why, just that the story has captivated me.

When we read, we like to find characters that we can identify with at the time. When I read Hamlet, I was the lovestruck and confused Ophelia. Often I'm Henry De Tamble, always running, and Claire De Tamble, always waiting. Catherine Linton, yearning for transcendent love lost. Don Juan drifting through wooded copses and babbling brooks, contemplating love, life and the depths of the soul. A lot of the time it's the Romanticised traits I recognise to be mirrored in these characters. That's just me, and it's probably conceited in some way. I have a feeling that if it's possible to romanticise Romanticism, I manage it. But what about when you're not the character you want to be? When I read Hosea, I don't feel that my part is beautiful or transcendent or glorious. I'm the harlot.

Such a harsh truth, I once heard it said, "we're all prostitutes". No, I thought, I'm not actually. But it's true, I sell myself all the time to things that don't deserve my heart or body. Hosea is told to marry a prostitute called Gomer, in the knowledge that she will be unfaithful to him and his love. Imagine that every night your spouse left, walked the streets and gave her body to any stranger with enough coins. Hosea keeps loving her. Imagine she gives birth to kids you know are not your own. Hosea keeps loving her. Imagine she leaves you, goes to follow the men who pay her. Turns her back and fails to see that you supported her, fed her, kept her. Hosea keeps loving her. Not only this, but when she has been forced into slavery without his protection, Hosea goes with his silver and barley crops, and buys back his own wife. What incredible love. This is something I adore. Always, the way that people love when nothing is given back, when even the object of their affection spits in their face.

So, I am the harlot. God is the bridegroom. I sell myself to all sorts of dark things. It can be anything. Selfishness, lust, greed, a career, fame, all the things we can put above Jesus. When we were slaves to sin, because we'd followed these hopeless things that would neither fulfill nor sustain, God came down and paid the price of our freedom. He bought us back because He loves us so much that He's willing to look past all the times we've turned from Him, all the hurt we've done Him, all the times we've betrayed, ignored and devalued His love.

So it's still pretty Romantic. I think it's beautiful. Really beautiful.


In other news, I'm signed up for the Sheffield Half Marathon. Happy days. I need to learn to run.

Also, events week is going splendidly. It is, as always, incredibly exciting to see so many people up for showing God's love around campus, and it's amazing to see people engaging with talks and the like. More Lord.

Sunday, 21 February 2010


I'm in Nottingham. I came for a night to recooperate, and it was pleasant. I stayed another to be sociable. I was meant to be going back to Sheff now but have just been informed that due to snow church is cancelled tonight (mum cackled at this, sad times) so maybe I will be staying tonight too, and visit St Nics. This will be nice, if not my intention. Much of the past few days has been really good, despite me feeling doubtful at the failings of my plans. Testimony that someone in control knows much better what we need than we do. My uncle just read out the weather forecast for the week in Sheffield and I excliamed, "no! but it's our events week!" concerned that the CU's plans would be hindered by weather. Perhaps this will happen, but God's plans won't be, and this is something I need to remember more.

Friday, 19 February 2010


Cell group this week was all about our identity in God, and being His child. It's one of those things that I know in theory but not in my heart. I don't understand it. I don't recognise it. I always pray "Father God", but never appreciate the implications. I've always thought that seeing God as your father is really hard for some people, especially if you've had bad experiences of hurt through your earthly dad. Knowing God as the perfect father is something I want to step into.

"But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him."- Luke 15:20

God's love is prodigal. He absolutely delights in us. Even when we stink of pigs and have spat in His face, He's there, running towards us with open arms welcoming us back, just pouring out love. He'd stand between us and any danger (I think He already has). He wants only the best for us. When we cry, His heart breaks. When we laugh, He celebrates with us.

"You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir." -Galatians 3:26-4:7

Heirs of God. Sons of God. Clothed in Jesus. Implications: God the father loves us as much as He loves Jesus. The incredible, intimate relationship that Jesus has with the father, we can have too. So why, oh why, aren't I claiming this?

One simple action to step closer to this intimacy was to change what I call God. When I pray, like I said, "heavenly father" or something similar just slips out automatically. My challenge is to call Him Abba, or as it were, "daddy". A word I haven't used for years that seem ten times as long again. The first time at cell was strange. I felt awkward and vulnerable and childish. For about ten seconds. Now, I've got to admit, I love it. I absolutely adore the fact that I'm this little kid with this amazing and perfect dad. I pray into my phone as I walk around outside pretty often...the only way I can describe it is that when I call Him "dad" or "daddy", it's so safe, so reassuring, it just feels like coming home.

As for other things. I went to a talk tonight put on by the Islamic society of the uni, entitled, "Jesus was a muslim". He wasn't. It was interesting, and enlightening, and I'm glad that we're able to go to events like that put on by all the societies- it can only be good. By the end of it, I was just welling up with gratitude that I know Jesus, and with heartbreak for the people that don't.

And in terms of other stuff, I just don't know. A few days has given dust time to settle. Things have been processed, thought through, accepted and refuted. I lay awake last night and realised just how stupid I am, and my life plan (which was never written in more than faint scribbly pencil) has completely changed. Or just been erased altogether. It may be too late, but that doesn't matter. Anyway, most of all I'm glad that grace runs through everything, and I'm grateful that friends haven't been lost. I am content, but at the same time there are things I would change if I could, which seems to be what life is like much of the time. Whatever, I believe that people are amazing, and God much, much more so.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Church on Sunday was really amazing. Song of songs has been following me around lately, for which I'm very grateful. "Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, its jealousy as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame." It came as a word in the service this week too. It's been on my heart. I know that the past two months especially it's become much clearer to me that there's a romance waiting, and I want to go deeper. A text from a friend around the time of New Year, "song of solomon, read the whole thing now. I pray through this text that God would romance you and hold you. God won't make you shake in fear and he will not make you feel abused or neglected". See, I like love. I'm a fan. Flip me, let's face it, God is love (John says), and everything without God is meaningless (Solomon says), and thus, love is everything. I know that I cannot begin to understand the love that God is- it's too vast. But the fact that we humans have the capacity to love each other in these faint echoes of that greater love...that has amazed me for some time, and I'm certain will continue. It's like looking at the reflection of a mountain in the rippling surface of a lake. I can pick out the vague shapes of trees and blurry birds, and although the picture isn't perfect, it's not clear, from what I can see I know that above is the perfect sight, and have a slightly better idea of what is being reflected.

I'm tired and tangenty, but my point is this- I want to be romanced. I want to fall in love. I want to be in a relationship. Oh my word, I want to full on fall for God. Because I might think that I've experienced love, and I might have been stunned by that, but I know that that was even only just a reflection. "My love is a raisin. And God's is a pumpkin....or a watermelon...and I wanna eat it!"

So yesterday stuff changed, and it was sad and it was happy and it was relieving and freeing and exhausting and it apparently involved most emotions possible. I actually resembled Ron Burgundy in a glass case of emotion for some time, and am very grateful to my most amazing friend for praying for me throughout and giving tissues and duvet. I went to the store at 3am, and baked for the flat until be honest, it was a lot better than I expected, praise the lord. Yes, aspects suck, and at some point I will think about it and be forced to re-evaluate what I believe about certain things, but right now, I'm actually half cheerful. God's amazing. And loves perfectly. I feel that there's a lot I want to say, but I'm too exhausted. Therefore: God's love- to be continued.

*(*Edit: I should point out that I have eaten an entire banoffee pie- I feel this is important information...I went to meadowhall spontaneously and figured I'd either get fit or get fat in a reposte to life...but I couldn't decide which so I bought pie and a sports bra*)*.

Thursday, 11 February 2010


My week so far.

Church, Sunday, epic. 2 weeks in a row. Last week 90% of the congregation was at the front just dancing in worship. We over-ran by an hour because nobody wanted to stop singing, and then a preach of 45 minutes about the prophetic history of our church since 2001- pointing to a vast explosion which we're experiencing now, and scarily, a time of disaster expected from 2011. Much of the words and visions were what friends and I had received when praying about where to move to uni as well. Amazing. Exciting times.
CU Monday. Good times.
Cell group Tuesday (I'd been praying about getting rooted and making friends at church) we met with another cell for pancakes and games and prayer and most free sung worship. Absolutely beautiful people.
Today, prayer meeting for the city within uni and to discuss setting up prayer walking. It's incredible- the CU are really stepping out in prayer. It's a tangible wave. We've set up a prayer tree of phone numbers so requests can be sent and circulated within minutes to many people. With such grounds in prayer and intercession I can't wait to see what God lets us do. It's so exciting to see the CU jump on the prayer boat. Tonight was hall group and text-a-toastie, always good. Toasties ended up being based in my flat at the last minute so I've just finished cleaning. Great time. Brilliant to see people so up for showing Jesus' love to strangers and proclaiming truth.

All in all, I just want to tell you that God's so good to me. These things have all been those that I suffered the lack of last term, and was scared of going to, leading to me being miserable. Provision is just so evident at the moment. I've asked for ways to get rooted, socials came up. 5 people today used my name when I thought they didn't know it. I sat down today and prayed for opportunity to get to know people in the church wider than my cell- immediately got an email asking for help on the welcome team and to do the reading this week. There are other things too, opportunities and assurances of the role I have here.

"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"

The times are exciting. People are praying. Unity is growing. Love is growing. Praise God.

I have a 9am seminar. I have to be up in 5 and a half hours.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010


Well, I feel it necessary to profess that last week's prayer of healing for my good friend was honoured- praise Jesus. The whole thing really challenged me to trust God more. I guess I say this all the time. If I face it honestly, this is because I never rise to the challenge as fully as it demands me to. We're called to give our hearts and lives into His hands fully, but instead it's the case that we give a little more each time we're with Him. Sometimes I try to take some back too. But the way I see it, the general trend is a few steps forward each day, and that's a few steps closer to full surrender. It's still a fair few marathons away. What lives lived in full surrender would look like, I can hardly imagine, but the thought excites me no end. I'm praying for faith that I'll get there. Join me.

In other news, epic things are happening. Prayer is spreading in the CU like fire. We're solid and rooted and protected, and everything is being covered in the stuff. It's quite amazing.

I had a friend up (down?) at the weekend, and it was a beautiful time. I'm ridiculously fortunate to know such amazing people as I do.

Friday, 5 February 2010

If I had twenty hands I'd have none.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


I'm really worried, which is unlike me. Someone I care about vast amounts, vaster than vast, is ill. It's probably nothing but a normal bug, but for some reason it's absolutely terrifying me...I can't see myself sleeping anytime soon. I say it's in case they call needing anything, but I know they won't call. Still. I can't believe how worked up this gets me.

Let us see some healing please Jesus.